The Red Sox headed to Florida to face old friend Jalen Beeks and the Tampa Bay Rays, who were undefeated heading into the game.
The first inning was meh, but then Masataka Yoshida lined a double to left to start the second. Nothing came of it, but it still happened and was temporarily exciting. Jake Raley opened the Rays’s second with a double, too, and nothing came of that, either. Narrative symmetry! We like it.
The Sox did nothing in the third, even if Beeks was taken out for Josh “Not Will” Fleming. Yandy Díaz hat a single against Nick Pivetta with one out. It was sort of beautiful. The shitty part is that Pivetta then walked Brandon Lowe to bring up Randy Arozarena, who absolutely ripped one to left-center that was reeled in by YA BOY Rob Refsnyder, averting disaster. Wander Franco grounded out and after three it was scoreless.
It’s hard to express how fast the game happened but like five seconds later the Rays were up again, and they also got out quickly, and Dave O’Brien, who had been complaining about something silly, noted that the Rays hadn’t been held scoreless through four innings all year. First time for everything!
Christian Arroyo had a two-out hit in the fifth inning that went precisely where everyone wasn’t on the right side, then Triston Casas hit it a billion miles per hour to precisely where the second baseman was, and that was that. Pivetta walked Díaz with two outs and went to 3-2 on Lowe but then struck him out swinging and was feeling his damn self:
NICK PIVETTA IS FIRED UP!!! pic.twitter.com/oFOObSEIp8— Tyler Milliken ⚾️ (@tylermilliken_) April 10, 2023
Signs of life! They were snuffed out in the bottom of the sixth when Rafael Devers was called out on what should have been ball three to end the inning. Whoops! Josh Winckowski came in the game in the bottom of the sixth, and nothing changed, all the Rays batters went whee-whee-whoops! and it was 0-0 heading into the seventh.
Garrett Cleavinger came on for the Rays and 1-2-3 again, the stretch came and went. I did not stretch. Winckowski gave up a 3-2 infield single to shortstop to Isaac Paredes (Kiké tried his best), and the Rays were on base. Fielder’s choice at second on the next pitch by Kiké — quite and an impressive one — and now, with two outs, another grounder to Hernández to make it 0-0 headed to the eighth.
Colin Poche, who is notably not Cristian Pache, came into the game and walked Alex Verdugo, which was cool. Christian Arroyo flied out, and then Bobby Dalbec came up for his first at-bat of the year, and... hit a broken-bat single to left! Business, we were in it! Connor Wong belted the first pitch he saw but straight to the left fielder, which left two outs and two on for Kiké, who had been 0 for his last 22. Walked! Bases loaded for Raffy. Quickly it went to 0-2, and then... he struck out looking.
Boners, I say! Boners!
Chris Martin, not the one from Coldplay, came on for the eighth. You know how bad the band is? Well, this Chris Martin was worse, giving up a solo homer to Lowe with one out to make it 1-0, Rays:
Brandon Lowe homers and the Rays break the scoreless tie in the 8th inning!— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 11, 2023
They're chasing their 10th straight win pic.twitter.com/MpsWakB2z5
Pete Fairbanks came on for the ninth and kicked ass and that was that. The Rays are 10-0 and the Sox are 5-5.