BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox seemed to be downcast. After injuring his left ankle in the seventh inning, Xander Bogaerts became a five-round match with a Jesus Sucre sacrifice fly, and Boston looked as if it would lose its first game since Opening Day.
But with two outs in the eighth inning, something changed. Boston lined up in six runs six times in a row, crowned by an Andrew Benintendi RBI double to beat Tampa Bay Ray's 8-7 Sunday afternoon. It was the Red Sox's eighth victory, and it's the first time that Boston has started 8-1 in franchise history.
Mitch Moreland started the rally and drove in Hanley Ramirez with a long double from the Green Monster. After Eduardo Nunez made the decision, Rafael Devers hit a double over the third baseline to bring the Red Sox to two positions.
Christian Vazquez fouled two double strikes before leading Devers with an RBI single. Then Betts tore a 2: 0 cutter into the left field and Vazquez drove home from starting position 2. Benintendi's game double looked like he could have been caught, but Malley Smith could not follow the ball in the left field right in front of the wall.
Craig Kimbrel stepped up the hill in the ninth inning and closed the door for his third save of the season.
Boston opened the score in the first inning when Ramirez Betts rode with an RBI bottom. Tampa Bay slowly retreated over the next six innings, but scored at least one run in each frame. C. J. Cron made a home run to Straightaway Center Field in the second inning to tie the points. Carlos Gomez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Brad Miller, Kevin Kiermaier, Joey Wendle and Sucre also clinched RBIs between the third and seventh inning.
Eduardo Rodriguez was inefficient in his first outing since being dismissed from the list of disabled people. The left-handed pitcher hit the side in the first inning and collected five strikeouts through his first six doughs ̵
But he struggled to get quick outs in the innings afterwards. He left after 3 2/3 innings that threw only 55 hits on 92 pitches. Rodriguez allowed three earned runs on five strokes and two walks as he scored seven. Carson Smith earned the win in the game, allowing one shot and two ways in a goalless eighth inning.
The blast was very successful for most of their designated Bullpen day when Ryan Yarbrough made the effort. The left-hander allowed only one run for two strokes while he went three and drew three over four innings. Andrew Kittredge, who started the game, allowed a run for two strokes through two innings.
Matt Andriese inflicted the biggest damage in the eight-inning, giving up four earned runs on four hits in 2/3 of an innings. Closer Alex Colome could not do the job for the second time in a row, allowing two earned runs on three strokes in 1/3 of an inning for the loss.
Next up for the Red Sox are the New York Yankees, who is currently tied for second place in the American League East. Chris Sale will kick off Tuesday's inaugural opening match with Yankee ace Luis Severino at 19:10. in Fenway Park.