After an unusual Sunday off, Rays head into Boston to take on a struggling Red Sox team that opened the season by getting swept by the Baltimore Orioles.
AL East play begins tonight pic.twitter.com/fd18q7BuZu— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 5, 2021
Under the Fenway lights tonight. pic.twitter.com/KXmNGbM8fV— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 5, 2021
The Rays opened the game with two back to back walks, but couldn’t make anything of it (a common theme). Michael Wacha makes his Rays debut, and although allowed two hard singles, escapes unscathed.
Red Sox would score first in the 2nd inning off of a Franchy Cordero double off the Green Monster to make it 1-0 Red Sox.
In the 3rd inning, the Rays lifted Kevin Kiermaier due to an injury precaution
Kevin Kiermaier left tonight's game due to left quad tightness. Brosseau entered to play left field in the third inning, with Arozarena moving to right and Margot to center.— Adam Berry (@adamdberry) April 6, 2021
In the 4th inning, Michael Wacha found himself in trouble again, opening the 4th inning with back to back singles to Christian Vazquez and Marwin Gonzalez to put runners on first and second with nobody out. A miscommunication between Wacha and Zunino leads to a wild pitch and advancement of the runners.
And then Randy did this:
The Randy Man can! pic.twitter.com/RUDWqMKjny— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 6, 2021
Scored one to make it 2-0 Boston, but that catch is in early contention for catch of the year. Boston would get another run of a Franchy Cordero groundout to Tsutsugo and Boston has a 3-0 lead after 4 innings.
Besides Randy’s amazing hit, Rays’ defense did not live up to expectations. Yoshi dropped a ball tagging J.D. Martinez in the 1st inning, and in the 5th inning Mike Zunino threw away a ball trying to nab a speedy Xander Boegarts, giving the Red Sox a 5-0 lead.
Michael Wacha’s first Rays start wasn’t good, but wasn’t as terrible as the score would seem, but Wacha did get hit pretty hard.
Michael Wacha’s Final Line: 5.0 IP, 8H, 5R, (4 Earned), 2 BB and 6 Ks. While the Rays’ were down 5, Kevin Cash called on Chris Mazza to help rest the bullpen and get some work in. He would give up a couple of runs when in the 6th inning to give the Red Sox 7-0 lead. Boston would get 4 more runs off of Mazza in the 8th inning, which included a 3 run HR off the very pesky pole by J.D. Martinez.
Mazza’s final line: 2.2 IP, 7H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks. Not great, but did help rest the bullpen and preserve innings.
The Rays offense seemed to never get going, and even though had a runner in scoring position in the 1st, 5th and 6th, but couldn’t bring anybody home. In the 5th inning, Adames opened the inning with a double, and made it to third base with 2 outs, but Austin Meadows flied out and ended the inning.
Again in the 6th inning, Lowe and Margot got back-to-back singles with only one out, but Joey Wendle grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Rays’ first runs came with A LOT of luck in the top of the 8th inning. Randy Arozarena hit a sharp grounder, tailor made for an inning ending double play, but instead hits the 2nd base bag, bounces over Rafael Devers and into center. Instead of the inning being over, the Rays have 2 on with only 1 out. After a opposite field single by Brandon Lowe (!) to load the bases with one out, and the score only being 7-0, Alex Cora called upon Darwinzon Hernandez.
Hernandez had a very difficult time locating the strike zone, and walked in two batters to give the Rays their first two runs of the night.
Literally the only Rays runs came from walks due to the three batter minimum rule. Rays were within striking distance too, as the two runs made the score 7-2 and left the bases loaded with only 1 out. As soon as Hernandez faced three batters, Cora called upon Adam Ottovino to face Willy Adames and Mike Brosseau, who both struck out.
Besides a few Randy highlights, It was an ugly game all around for the Rays.
Final Score: Rays: 2, Red Sox: 11.
Rays are 2-2 for the season, while the Red Sox get their first win of the season and are 1-3. Rays will try to get back on track tomorrow with Tyler Glasnow going up against Martin Perez. Gametime starts at 7:10 PM.