It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was another first inning meltdown by our starting pitcher; it was smacking around the Red Sox highly paid ace. When the last out was recorded a mere 4 1/2 hours after first pitch, there had been 20 runs, 30 hits, 4 home runs,4 errors, 4 batters hit by pitches (OK, 3 of those batters were Brandon Guyer).
Blown leads, highlight reel and blooper reel plays. What a way to get a series win in Boston!
Odorizzi's Disastrous 1st
The Rays got the offense started early, jumping on Price with a solid single by Forsythe and a Biggio-special HBP for Guyer. After a flyout by Longoria, Forsythe moved up to 3rd, well positioned for the, Lakeland Launcher, Steve Pearce, to smoke a single straight back at Price for the Rays first run.
However that lead would not last long. Odorizzi’s 1st inning was not pretty, giving up a near team Cycle before he recorded his first out.
After a leadoff single by Betts, Dustin Pedroia took an Odo fastball and deposited it into the Green Monster seats. Bogaerts then drove a 2B hit off the base of the wall in the LF.
I’ll spare you the rest of the 1st inning’s gory details, and instead just post the summery of the inning:
1B; HR; 2B; Deep lineout; 1B; 2B; 1B;Double steal and throwing error;Fielder’s Choice; K
This is about a bad a first inning as a pitcher can have, and with Price on the mound I'll bet there were at least a few Rays fans who might have considered this game already lost.
But those Rays fans hadn't reckoned with the Rays newfound power. Longoria opened the fireworks with hisfirst ever hit off of his former teammate, a long, solo shot to centerfield.
Some poor command and solid patience from the hitters forced David Price to bad counts and longer at-bats, and the pitch count rose quickly. In the top of the 4th, all that work seemed to pay off. Curt Casali, Price’s former Vanderbilt teammate and human kryptonite, took a fastball deep over the Green Monster and suddenly the Red Sox lead was a less daunting 5-4.
But the Rays offense wasn’t finished.
For the second time on the day, a Forsythe single and a Guyer HBP would bring Evan Longoria to the plate with runners at 1st and 2nd and a chance to bring the Rays all the way back. Longo again got good contact on Price, this time for a wall scraping double to left. Brock Holt had a bit of a bobble with the ball, and both runners scored to give the Rays a 6-5 lead.
Desmond Jennings ultimately chased Price from the game with another nice double off the wall, scoring Longo. Souza drove a sharp groundball to Hanley who couldn’t get his glove down quick enough to make the play, allowing DJ to score from second base.
The final line for Price: 3 2/3 innings, 8 H, 2 BB, 8ER.
Did we mention that Smyly pitched 8 innings of 1-hit ball on Tuesday?
The Bullpen Adventures
That left the Rays bullpen with a lead to protect and a lot of outs to go. Romero with filthy 99 MPH fastballs came in and got weak contact and a K for a perfect 5th inning, and he also got 2 outs and gave up a walk in the 6th before yielding to Danny Farquhar.
Unfortunately Farquhar immediately gave up a two run bomb to Mookie Betts, bringing Boston to within one run.
After a double by Pedroia, the Rays were in danger of losing that lead all with two outs. Thankfully Kevin Kiermaier is still really good at defense, and was able to make a sliding catch in centerfield to rob Bogaerts of an RBI single.
In the 7th, Xavier Cedeno came in to hold that slim lead, and for the first time this season he failed.
Doubles by Ortiz and Shaw tied the game. A Brock Holt single deep in the hole to Tim Beckham caused a bit of chaos, as Beckham tried and throw out Shaw at 3rd, but instead threw it away. Luckily, Casali was able to back the play up, and limit the error to just having Holt advance to 2nd.
Cedeno seemed to pitch around the catcher Vazquez to load the basses, but was able to get a good strikeout against Jackie Bradley Jr. Cedeno departed with 2 outs and the bases still loaded for Erasmo Ramirez
The league leader in Smile% was able to clean up the mess, getting the strikeout looking on Mookie Betts on three pitches.
The Last Innings
In the 8th, Steven Souza Jr gave the Rays a 9-8 lead with a wall banging 2B, driving in Desmond Jennings. It was a towering flyball that kept carrying to the Green Monster, hitting just out of reach for Bradley Jr to make the catch. This time the game of inches went in the Rays favor.
Another high tension inning for Erasmo in the bottom of the 8th. Bogaerts singled to left, and advanced to 2nd after Guyer slipped on his throw in from the outfield. Erasmo pitched very carefully to Ortiz, walking him, and bringing up Hanley Ramirez. Hanley hit a sharp line drive destined for rightfield, but Logan Forsythe was right there to make the reaching catch. Again, game of inches advantage goes to the Rays. Erasmo then got Travis Shaw to fly out to end the threat.
Kevin Kiermaier led off the 9th and slapped a single just into the outfield, then shifting into gear to speed to 2nd for a double. After a sac bunt to move KK over to 3rd, Logan Forsythe came through with a base hit past the drawn in infield.
For the third time today, Brandon Guyer got hit by a pitch after a Forsythe single. Corey "Big Swinging" Dickerson came in to pinch hit for Pearce, and deliver a beautiful bases clearing double to extend the Rays lead to 12-8.
The four run lead gave Cash the ability to bring in Dana Eveland rather than Alex Colome. Immediately, Eveland surrendered a 2B to Josh Rutledge, got a broken bat grounder, and walked Chris Young. Colome’s rest was short lived, and he was called in to finish the game, getting 2 pop ups to seal the win.
- Erasmo Ramirez might be the most important pitcher on the Rays. Not only can he deliver a great spot start, but he is now giving the team some great work out of the pen. Today he really came through when the Rays needed it most. For his effort, he now goes to 4-0 on the season.
- Brandon Guyer got hit 3 times today. He's been hit 5 times now in 28 PA. Maybe this whole HBP thing is a skill for him.
-What a ridiculous game! At times this was painful, and at others pure ecstasy. Overall, this was a helluva win by the Rays, and a great series victory against the Sawx.
- The Rays offense knocking around David Price to retake the lead was a shocking, but fantastic thing to witness. Check out the highlights of the Rays 6 run 4th inning.
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