BOSTON, MA - APRIL 13: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox is congratulated by teammate Darnell McDonald #54 after Pedroia scored in the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during the home opener on April 13, 2012 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The Red Sox have once again won their home opener after a terrible start to the season, and this time they've done so emphatically, chasing David Price after just three innings and exploding for 8 runs off of Joel Peralta and Josh Lueke in the eighth to put the game away.
Josh Beckett got the start today and put some fears to rest with a very strong outing. While he only managed one strikeout on the day, that seems to have been more a result of getting ahead in the count without being dangerous, and some ultra-aggressive hitting from the Rays, who never even really let him get deep in the count.
Tampa did manage to put a charge into a few balls, but that was handled with aplomb by the defense behind him. Other than a particularly bad play by Kevin Youkilis which allowed a double to get through into center and brought the first run across, it was a solid day for all the fielders. Darnell McDonald was particularly good in left field, ranging forward and back to get long and short line drives alike.
The Sox' offense, meanwhile, actually looked right for the first time this season. Even before the big eighth, they were working the count, fighting out long at bats, and generally making life difficult for David Price. This is how they've won games for the last decade, and it's how they're going to have to win games going forward.
Of course, there's also the frightening injury to Jacoby Ellsbury, but all we can do with that is wait and see. For now, the Sox are winners, and things may actually be looking up.