The Boston Red Sox sent Rick Porcello to the hill against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, but Porcello did not pitch like an ace by any means.
The reigning American League Cy Young winner was shelled for eight runs over just 4 1/3 innings of work in Boston’s 10-5 loss to Tampa Bay at Fenway Park.
The long ball haunted the Red Sox, as the Rays mashed four home runs in the contest. Boston recorded 14 hits, but a lack of timely hitting and extra-base knocks crushed its chances of winning.
Here’s how it all went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Red Sox had to have been confident going into Friday night with their ace on the mound against a mediocre lineup. Instead, Porcello hurled his worst outing in recent memory.
IT WAS OVER WHEN …
Logan Morrison belted a grand slam off Porcello in the third inning to extend the Rays’ lead to 6-0. Back-to-back homers by Brad Miller and Steven Souza Jr. in the fifth inning didn’t help Boston’s cause either.
ON THE BUMP
–Porcello had an outing to forget. He struggled through 4 1/3 innings, during which he allowed eight runs on eight hits. Friday’s performance snapped Porcello’s streak of 43 consecutive starts in which he pitched five or more innings.
A 34-pitch third inning was particularly difficult for Porcello. He allowed two walks in the inning and ultimately gave up the grand slam to Morrison. He then gave up back-to-back homers to Miller and Souza Jr. in the fifth inning, which forced manager John Farrell’s hand to tap into the bullpen.
–Robbie Ross Jr. entered the game in relief of Porcello. He also struggled through 2 2/3 innings of work, giving up two runs on three hits.
–Fernando Abad followed Ross and managed to make it through the eighth inning unscathed after allowing a leadoff double.
–Robby Scott came in for the ninth and was the only Red Sox pitcher to retire the side in order.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
–Mookie Betts was the Red Sox’s most productive hitter Friday night. He recorded four hits in the contest, including a double. He logged his first RBI of the season in the ninth inning when he singled in Marco Hernandez.
–Xander Bogaerts registered three hits in the game, giving him three consecutive multi-hit games. He knocked in Betts with an RBI single in the ninth inning.
–Andrew Benintendi knocked in the first Boston run in the fifth inning when he singled to score Dustin Pedroia. He also sent a bloop double down the left-field line in the ninth inning. The young outfielder has reached base safely in each of Boston’s 10 games this season.
–After belting the game-tying double in Boston’s win Thursday, Hanley Ramirez recorded another RBI hit in Friday’s game. He plated Hernandez for the Red Sox’s second run in the seventh inning but was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the base knock to a double. A fielder’s choice in the ninth inning gave Ramirez his second RBI of the game.
–Pedroia doubled in the fifth inning and singled in the seventh. He was pinch run for by Hernandez after the latter, though, ending the second baseman’s night early.
–The struggling Pablo Sandoval did record a hit, but he squandered a golden opportunity in the fourth inning when he grounded out with the bases loaded to end the frame.
–Sandy Leon had a particularly rough night swinging the bat, as he struck out in three of his four plate appearances.
TWEET OF THE DAY
It’s been a rough week for Red Sox starting pitchers.
The Sox and Rays will play Game 2 of their four-game series Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park at 4:05 p.m. ET. Chris Sale will toe the rubber for Boston, while Jake Odorizzi gets the ball for Tampa Bay.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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