The Boston Red Sox won the opening game of their ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, 12-2. Jon Lester was brilliant in 7⅔ innings of work, and each Boston batter recorded at least one hit and scored at least one run.
Tampa Bay jumped in front early on solo home runs by Sean Rodriguez in the second and Ben Zobrist in the fourth. Rodriguez's blast came with a bit of controversy, as Lester thought he'd struck the left fielder out on the 2-2 pitch:
That was the end of the good news for the Rays, though. Dustin Pedroia led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, which was the first hit of the game off of Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore. David Ortiz followed with a deep fly to right field, but Wil Myers got deked by either the Boston bullpen or center fielder Desmond Jennings and the ball landed safely for a ground-rule double:
With two runners on and one out, the floodgates opened. Jonny Gomes doubled off the top of the Green Monster in left to drive in both runners ...
... and he then managed to score from second on an infield single by Stephen Drew. Will Middlebrooks doubled in another run, and the Rays committed their third whoopsie of the inning by allowing Jacoby Ellsbury to reach on a passed ball third strike -- Boston made them pay yet again when Shane Victorino singled home Middlebrooks to make it 5-2. In the end, the Rays essentially gave the Red Sox six outs to work with, as Myers should have caught Ortiz's drive, Moore should have beaten Drew to first base on his ground ball and Ellsbury should have ended the inning with his strikeout.
Boston was right back at it in the fifth, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two runners with a double to left and knocked Moore out of the game. Wesley Wright was unable to right the ship, letting Salty come home on a single by Ellsbury to increase Boston's lead to 8-2.
Things quieted down until the eighth inning, when Boston turned the game into an absolute rout. Ellsbury singled, stole second and scored on a hit by Victorino. Jamey Wright then walked three straight hitters to force home Victorino, but stemmed the tide a bit by getting Gomes to ground into a 6-3 double play (though the play did score another run). Saltalamacchia capped the scoring with an RBI single, and Boston shut down a host of Tampa Bay pinch-hitters in the ninth to secure a 12-2 victory.
The Rays will take another crack at the Red Sox on Saturday, when David Price takes on John Lackey. Game time is 5:37 Eastern.