The Boston Red Sox kicked off their three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on a high note.
Thanks to a brilliant outing from Drew Pomeranz and a strong night from Boston’s bats, the Sox cruised to a 9-3 victory over their American League East rival at Fenway Park.
The Rays simply couldn’t solve Pomeranz in the series opener. The left-hander tossed six innings in which he allowed just two runs on two hits with seven strikeouts to pick up his 15th win of the season.
At the plate, the Red Sox collected 12 hits, including a three-run home run from Mookie Betts.
With the win, the Red Sox improve to 80-61, while the Rays fall to 70-72.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
After a brief skid to start the month, the Red Sox now have won three consecutive games.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Boston’s offense exploded for five runs in the fourth inning. Pomeranz brought his A-game Friday night, so that was more than enough run support for the left-hander.
ON THE BUMP
— It appeared Pomeranz was on pace for a special night, as he didn’t allow a hit until Brad Miller singled with one out in the fifth inning. Pomeranz only allowed three runners to reach base prior to Miller’s knock by way of two walks and a hit batter.
While Miller broke up the no-hitter, the real damage was done by Jesus Sucre, who followed with a two-run home run to put the Rays on the board. Pomeranz limited the damage to just the two runs in the inning, though, and then responded with a 1-2-3 sixth in which he struck out two.
Pomeranz dazzled through six, but with a rising pitch count, his outing was over.
— Joe Kelly came on for the seventh, but he didn’t last long. The right-hander loaded the bases and was pulled with only one out in the inning.
— Addison Reed followed Kelly, and induced a shallow pop up on his first batter faced. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia was unable to haul in the looping fly, but managed to get the force out at second base. Pedroia’s gaffe allowed the Rays to push across their third run of the game. Reed then got Evan Longoria to line out to end the inning.
Reed stayed on for the eighth and logged one out before being taken out of the game.
— Austin Maddox recorded the final two outs of the eighth. The right-hander stayed on and sealed the victory with a scoreless ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox got off to a great start, as Pedroia led off the game with a single and Andrew Benintendi followed with a double. And with two runners on, Betts cleared the bases with a three-run shot that just snuck around Pesky’s Pole to give the Red Sox an early lead.
— Boston’s loud fourth inning started off with a Rafael Devers double, followed by a Christian Vazquez single. With a runner in scoring position, Jackie Bradley Jr. lined an RBI single to bring in the Red Sox’s fourth run.
Sloppy defense plagued the Rays on the next batter, as Rays first baseman Logan Morrison botched a Pedroia grounder, which allowed Vazquez to cross the plate for the second run of the inning. Benintendi continued the hit parade when he smacked an RBI single to score Bradley.
After Betts walked, Hanley Ramirez plated Boston’s seventh run with an RBI single to left field. Mitch Moreland followed by grounding into a double play, but Benintendi crossed the plate for Boston’s fifth run of the fourth inning.
— After a few quiet innings, the Red Sox did more damage to the scoreboard in the seventh. Devers drew a two-out walk, and Vazquez brought him home with an RBI double to the left-center field gap.
TWEET OF THE DAY
It was an All-Star cast in the broadcast booth.
The Red Sox and Rays will play the middle game of their three-game series Saturday night. Boston will give the ball to Chris Sale, while Tampa Bay will send Matt Andriese to the hill. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images