Red Sox’ offensive eruption paves way for Game 1 win over Rays

BOSTON — Hits can come in bunches and that is exactly what happened for the Red Sox in their 12-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS Friday afternoon at Fenway Park. It was the Red Sox’ first postseason win since 2008, in their first postseason appearance since 2009.

“Yeah, you know once the playoffs start, everything is a clean slate,” left fielder Jonny Gomes said. “No longer is it the best team, it’s the hottest team and we obviously know Tampa is coming in hot, coming in on a roll. So it took a couple of innings to break the ice, but once [Dustin Pedroia] got that hit up the middle, I think it took a lot of the questions out.”

After holding the Red Sox hitless through the first three innings and leading 2-0, the Rays and starter Matt Moore had a rough time in the fourth. After Pedroia singled up the middle to lead off the inning, David Ortiz hit a deep fly ball to right field where Rays rookie right fielder Wil Myers misplayed it and it bounced into the Red Sox bullpen setting up second and third with no outs, completely changing the game. Following a Mike Napoli pop out, Gomes ripped a two-RBI double off the Monster scoring Pedroia and Ortiz, tying the game at two and the Sox really never looked back.

“That play was kind of confusing,” Ortiz said of his ground rule double.  “All I saw was the ball bouncing behind [Myers] and wasn’t sure if it fell in front of the fence or after the fence. I don’t know what happened after that.”

Two batters later, Stephen Drew legged out an infield single, barely beating Moore to the bag, and with all his momentum going towards right field Gomes was able to round third and score all the way from second. Drew then scored on a wall-ball double from Will Middlebrooks, which Rays left fielder Sean Rodriguez badly misplayed, and then the Sox got their fifth and final run of the inning on a slap single to right from Shane Victorino scoring Middlebrooks.

The Red Sox kept the momentum going in the fifth, adding two more runs and batting around for a second straight inning. Napoli doubled off the Monster and then Gomes was intentionally walked, setting the stage for Jarrod Saltalamacchia who also doubled off the Monster, scoring Napoli and Gomes and giving the Sox a 7-2 lead ending Moore’s afternoon.  After an intentional walk to Middlebrooks, Jacoby Ellsbury made the Rays pay with a single up the middle scoring Saltalamacchia for the eighth Red Sox run. It was the first time in postseason history where the Sox batted around in consecutive innings.

Up 8-2 in the eighth the Sox didn’t let up, plating four more runs. The first came on an RBI single from Victorino scoring Ellsbury and then Napoli drew a bases loaded walk. Gomes then hit into a double play, but Victorino was able to score putting the Sox up 11-2 and Saltalamacchia closed the scoring out with an RBI single plating Pedroia.

Every member of the Sox lineup recorded a hit with Victorino leading the way with three, while Ellsbury, Pedroia and Saltalamacchia each contributed two in the 14-hit attack. Their 14 hits in a postseason game were the most since they also had 14 in Game 2 of the 2008 ALDS.

“I think that just says how — you see nine hitters, and we all work together,” Gomes said. “The inning, we scored, right before me, Napoli didn’t get it done, but I think he saw seven or eight pitches. With that being said, I don’t know if he tired out [Moore] or what, but from the on-deck circle I was able to see eight pitches and it allowed me to jump on the first two. Guys that don’t drive in runs or don’t get the big hits, but we definitely work one through nine. We don’t sit back and wait for the three-run home homer.

“You know, with that being said, we continue to apply pressure, like you saw with the base running today. We saw the bags, but even going first to third, scoring from first, just you know, true all-around athletes throughout our lineup as well.”

Aside from two pitches, Jon Lester was outstanding going 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Two of the three hits were home runs, which were his only mistakes on the day. Rodriguez belted a 3-2 pitch into the Monster seats with two outs in the second and Ben Zobrist led off the fourth with a homer, but that was all the Rays could get against Lester who had control of all of his pitches and even hit 97 MPH on the radar gun a few times. Lester retired 11 in a row between the fourth and seventh innings.

“This is his game,” Saltalamacchia said.  “He is such a big game pitcher and I wouldn’t want anyone else on the mound in that situation.”

Lester was focused from the outset, striking out the first four hitters of the game, setting the tone for the remainder of the afternoon.

“Yeah, obviously getting to start Game 1 at Fenway Park is pretty exciting,” he said. “The adrenaline was going. Our game plan early was to set the tone, come right after the guys. It felt pretty good. And obviously the velocity up there showed, so I just tried to carry that over.”

Junichi Tazawa came on for the final out in the eighth and Ryan Dempster pitched the ninth to close out the win.

The teams will be right back at it tomorrow afternoon (5:37, TBS) for Game 2 which will see John Lackey go up against David Price.

What they’ll be saying: The biggest takeaway from the game was the offensive output between the fourth and fifth innings. Going into those innings the Red Sox were hitless, but came out of them up 8-2 and with 10 hits. This could possibly be because of their four day layoff before the series and they needed an at-bat to get back in game mode. The Sox got it done without a home run as their 12 runs were the most runs in a game without hitting a homer in club postseason history … Lester gave the Sox exactly what is expected from a Game 1 starter as he pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his postseason career. He has struck out seven or more batters in four of his seven postseason starts, with those of those seven-plus strikeout games coming against the Rays … There is no question it was very important to take Game 1, but they cannot afford to take the pedal off the gas with Price going for the Rays tomorrow as Friday’s win doesn’t mean much if the teams go back to Tampa tied at one, as the Rays have the ability to bring Price back on full rest for a potential Game 5 at Fenway next Thursday.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Seven arrests made in $1.6 million StubHub cyberfraud…

Police have arrested seven people on charges they were tied to an international ring that defrauded eBay Inc's StubHub online ticketing service of some $1.6 million, the latest in a…

National

Giant ketchup bottle up for sale in southern…

By Mary WisniewskiCHICAGO (Reuters) - Want a giant historic order of fries with that?A water tower shaped like a 170-foot-tall ketchup bottle is for sale…

Local

NYPD: Man denied money punches 65-year-old at Bronx…

A 65-year-old man was punched and shoved at a D train station in the Bronx last week when he denied another man money, police said.

Local

New York Governor Cuomo's office intervened in corruption…

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office meddled with a commission he created to root out corruption in state politics, pushing back whenever it focused on groups tied to Cuomo, the…

Television

Portia de Rossi to appear on 'Scandal'

Portia de Rossi will be appearing in a few episodes of "Sandal" in a yet-to-be-revealed arc.

Entertainment

One Direction fans celebrate four years of Harry…

Whether you love them or hate them — or if you say that you hate them and secretly sing along to their songs alone in…

Music

Jack White attends Cubs game, looks miserable

Jack White went to a Cubs game and got photographed looking really unhappy about it.

Music

Wiz Khalifa brings Dem Boyz to town for…

It’s well into the third year of Wiz Khalifa’s hip-hop- and herb-themed Under the Influence of Music tour. Along with Khalifa, this year's lineup features Jeezy,…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

NFL

3 storylines to watch as Jets open training…

Jets head coach Rex Ryan might be in for an even tougher job in 2014 after arguably his best coaching job last season.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

Wellbeing

Marijuana lube is a real thing

Heighten your sexual experience by actually getting high. Foria, a cannabis-infused "sensual enhancement oil," is now on the market, kind of — residents of California…

Style

How to dress like a socialite while sticking…

Nicky Hilton is releasing a new book about how to dress fabulously while sticking to a budget.

Parenting

The best Back-To-School Backpacks

Get ready for back-to-school with these stylish kids' backpacks.

Education

Elementary school students like their healthy school lunches…

When the federal government first rolled out its healthier school meal guidelines in 2012, elementary schoolers weren't happy. Much was written about how America's youngest…