October 4, 2013

Red Sox flex muscles in 12-2 Game 1 victory

Boston could not have had a better start to the 2013 playoffs, while Tampa’s defense and pitching seemed overwhelmed.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox took advantage of a rookie mistake for a big fourth inning on their way to a 12-2 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Friday at Fenway Park.

Right fielder Wil Myers allowed a David Ortiz fly ball to drop behind him for a double in the fourth inning. Boston went on to score five runs in the inning, four of them with two outs.

Boston’s win gives it a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-five series. Game 2 is Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

Jon Lester picked up the win Friday, throwing a three-hitter over 7 2/3 innings. He allowed two runs (both homers) and three walks, while striking out seven.

Every Boston starting player recorded a hit. Jarrod Saltalamacchia knocked in three runs with a double and single. Jonny Gomes doubled in two runs. Shane Victorino went 3-for-4 with two RBI.

Before Boston’s big inning, the Rays led 2-0 on home runs by Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist.

That lead looked plenty for Rays lefty Matt Moore, who did not allow a hit through three innings.

But Dustin Pedroia led off the fourth with a single. Ortiz followed with a fly ball to the warning track in right. Myers backed up and seemed ready to catch it. But the ball bounced behind him and into the bullpen for a ground-rule double.

After Mike Napoli popped out, Gomes clubbed his two-run double off the wall, tying the game 2-2.

With two outs, four straight batters reached - Stephen Drew (infield single), Will Middlebrooks (double), Jacoby Ellsbury (wild pitch after striking out) and Victorino (single). Boston led 5-2.

Boston knocked Moore out in the fifth with three more runs, with Saltalamacchia’s two-run double doing most of the damage.

Once Boston took lead, Lester retired nine straight batters. He walked two in the eighth inning and left with two outs to a loud standing ovation.

In the eighth, Boston piled it on with four more runs.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:


Twitter: @ClearTheBases


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