For Red Sox fans hoping that May would be different, the first game of the month is distressingly familiar: a 2-1 loss to the Rays featuring missed opportunities and a replay call going the other way.
Jake Peavy looked ready to carry the Red Sox the distance in the first inning, retiring the Rays in short order. Rays starter Cesar Ramos, on the other hand, didn't seem likely to reach the fifth. Dancing around the strike zone without finding it too often, Ramos walked two of the first four batters he faced, then gave up a first-pitch single to Jonny Gomes to put the Red Sox ahead 1-0. Will Middlebrooks, however, popped out, leaving the Red Sox with just one run to show despite putting 35 pitches on Ramos' arm.
Peavy would continue pitching well into the third, but wound up surrendering the lead on a Fenway-only homer to David DeJesus. His line drive wasn't particularly loud, but when you hit one to Fenway Park's right field, there's always a chance that the ball will find its way around Pesky's Pole and into the stands.
Still, the Red Sox had to feel confident given the way the starters had pitched to that point. That confidence would not survive the fourth. The leadoff double from Desmond Jennings put Peavy in immediate danger, but he fought back with a ground ball and a strikeout to come within one out of escaping. Maybe that made him overly cautious. Apparently pitching around James Loney, Peavy offered up a four-pitch walk, but then failed to find a middle ground between in the zone, and well outside. When he threw strikes, the Rays fouled them off. When he didn't, they took pitches upwards of a foot outside the zone. Wil Myers went from 0-2 to 4-2, and after a prolonged battle David DeJesus made his way to first with a free pass that brought home the second run.
The Red Sox had their chances from there, putting two men on in both the fifth and sixth innings, but falling short both times. The seventh, though, is what will stand out. With Dustin Pedroia on first, David Ortiz hit a wall ball double. Pedroia tried to make it all the way home. A perfect relay led to a close play, with Pedroia called out at the plate. Replay showed that the second baseman definitely beat the tag, but there was no clear view of Pedroia actually managing to touch the plate. The definition of "conclusive evidence" being what it is, the call went against the Red Sox. Ortiz would again come to the plate with the chance to drive in Pedroia in the ninth, but this time he grounded out to end the inning and the game.