It took six hours to get the job done, but the Red Sox defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 in the first game of their
day night - night doubleheader.
Making his second straight start against the Red Sox--that's two of four in his short MLB career now--Chris Archer once again proved no great mystery to Red Sox hitters. Jacoby Ellsbury got the Boston attack started with a little wall ball, doubling off the base of the Monster, and then advanced to third and home on a pair of loud fly balls from Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia, putting the Sox ahead 1-0 early on.
Alfredo Aceves would return the favor in the top of the second, walking Evan Longoria and James loney, then surrendering a one-out double down the right field line to Luke Scott. Shane Victorino was able to hurry over fast enough that Loney was unable to score a second run, however, and Aceves picked up a key double play after walking a third batter in Jose Molina to escape the inning.
That would be the most difficult inning of the day by far for Aceves, who continued to utilize what must be some form of eldritch magics to turn three walk, two strikeout performances into big starts for the Red Sox. They will not be complaining anytime soon.
Aceves' day would eventually be cut short after five innings thanks to the arrival of heavy rains, but not before the offense got him back on top, and with a bit of cushion to boot. Back-to-back singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino started off the third, with Victorino stealing second to give the Sox two runners in scoring position. While Dustin Pedroia ran into a bit of hard luck, sending a line drive right to Ben Zobrist at second, David Ortiz suffered no such bad luck, hitting a hard ground ball right back up the middle and into center to score both baserunners.
Ortiz would drive in another run in the fifth, and the Sox would load the bases for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. With the rains coming in force while the Rays made a pitching change, however, he would have to wait three torturous hours for his at bat. With the umpires dead set on getting both games in tonight, the Sox would not resume until 5:55, with Salty quickly striking out to send the game into the sixth.
From there, it was up to the bullpen, and even with Felix Doubront on the mound for game two, John Farrell pulled few punches. Junichi Tazawa, Andrew Miller, Koji Uehara, and Craig Breslow got the job done, while back-to-back triples from Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino brought home a fifth Boston run.
It's good to get at least one win tonight. There won't be much left in the bullpen as the Sox look to make it two, however--a game which starts in, oh, about 20 minutes now.
So back to work we go.
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