BOSTON — The Red Sox found themselves without a starting pitcher in the first inning Tuesday, but the bullpen made up for that. Until the very end, that is.
Joe Kelly left Boston’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays with a right shoulder impingement after getting just two outs. Relief pitchers Heath Hembree, Robbie Ross Jr., Junichi Tazawa and Craig Kimbrel helped stem the tide, combining for 11 strikeouts, three hits and no runs over 8 1/3 innings.
However, Matt Barnes, Tommy Layne and a fielding error by third baseman Travis Shaw unraveled that in extra innings to give the Rays the 3-0 win.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
There was a point where it seemed like this game might never end. Both Rays starter Drew Smyly and the Red Sox’s bullpen were dealing, and neither team was putting good swings on the ball, but both squads kept grinding until the Rays took the 3-0 win in the 10th inning.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo home run in the 10th inning.
The Red Sox’s bats were quiet all night Tuesday, and all it took was the one run to shut them out. The Rays tacked on two more runs for good measure, though.
ON THE BUMP
— What a night for the Red Sox’s pitching. Kelly left after just 2/3 of an inning and four batters, but the bullpen came in and performed admirably. Hembree inherited two baserunners — Kelly walked both of them — and struck out Rays left fielder Desmond Jennings to end the first.
The left-handed reliever went on to pitch 3 1/3 innings and gave up no runs on two hits while recording zero walks and four strikeouts.
— Ross came on in the fifth and did work. The left-hander went three full innings, allowing only one hit, no runs, no walks and four strikeouts.
— Tazawa was similarly successful in the eighth inning. He struck out three batters, walked one and tallied a whopping eight swinging strikes, including three straight to Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
— Kimbrel wasn’t throwing gas like he usually does, but he got out of the ninth inning fairly clean, with no hits, no runs and one hit batsman.
— Barnes came in and gave the ballgame to Tampa with a leadoff solo home run to Kiermaier to put the Rays up 1-0 in the 10th inning. Barnes finished with three runs allowed (one earned) on two hits with an intentional walk and a strikeout.
— Layne replaced Barnes and gave up a ground-rule double to Jennings to make it 3-0 Rays after Shaw bobbled a ball at third to load the bases.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— There wasn’t much to see here. Jackie Bradley Jr. produced Boston’s only hit of the night, going 1-for-3. Chris Young (0-for-2) and Ryan Hanigan (0-for-2) also reached base with a walk each.
— It was a rough night for David Ortiz in particular, as the designated hitter went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. The Sox struck out 14 times as a team, with Smyly striking out 11.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
The Red Sox gave out Mookie Betts bobbleheads, and they were pretty darn sweet.
The Red Sox play the middle game of their series against Tampa Bay on Thursday at Fenway Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET. Rick Porcello will go head-to-head with Rays ace Chris Archer.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images