Breaking news: the Red Sox can beat the Rays! Well, they can if you give them two chances in one day, at least.
Less than 24 hours after the depressing-but-not-end-of-the-world-just-yet news about Chris Sale’s shoulder soreness, the Sox took the field on a soggy Saturday and split a doubleheader against a team that’s been dominating them since 2019. And I don’t use the word “dominating” lightly here — the Sox are just 25-46 against Tampa in the last three-plus seasons.
Game 1, frankly, should’ve been a much easier win than it turned out to be. Garrett Whitlock looked strong on the mound, though not quite outstanding (he threw too many pitches outside the strike zone and surrendered a few screamers.) But he was seriously victimized by another dreadful defensive performance from Kiké Hernandez, who committed two more throwing errors in the early innings. The “sure, Kiké can play short” decision is starting to look extremely similar to “yeah, Hanley will be fine out in left.” This ill-fated experiment really shouldn’t be allowed to continue for much longer.
Luckily, the bats came alive against the Rays’ bullpen, with back-to-back doubles by Justin Turner and Masataka Yoshida highlighting a 6-run sixth inning.
Game 2 was a quieter affair. Kutter Crawford got the start and made our own Jacob Roy look smart, throwing an efficient 3 innings and allowing just one kinda cheap run that scored via a double and two ground ball outs. The Sox bats never did wake up in this one, though, as Tyler Glasnow worked into the 6th while allowing just 4 hits.
Luckily the Rays couldn’t get much going either. . . that is until Kenley Jansen was called on to pitch for the second time today. After striking out the side for the save in Game 1, Jansen fell apart while trying to preserve a 2-2 tie in the 9th inning of Game 2, surrendering 3 hits and 2 runs to the first 4 hitters he faced. The Sox tried to muster something in the 9th (well, it’s more accurate to say that the Rays tried to give the game back in the 9th, with back-to-back free-bags to Rafael Devers and Masataka Yoshida) but a diving catch of Jarren Duran’s sinking liner ended the night.
Three Studs (Of The Day!)
- Masataka Yoshida: 3-8, 2 BB, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI
- Triston Casas: 2-6, 2 BB, 3 K, 2B, 3B, 1 RBI
- Justin Turner: 2-5, 2B, 3 RBI, 1 R
Three Duds (Of The Day!)
- Kiké Hernandez: 1-6, 2 K, 1 R, 2 E
- Jarren Duran: 1-8, 4 K, 1 RBI
- Kenley Jansen: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K 2 ER, BS, SV
Play of Game 1
We’re handing out a joint award for this one, so let’s hear it for the game-breaking back-to-back doubles in the sixth inning.
Play of Game 2
A game-ending diving catch with the tying runs on board is pretty much guaranteed to be the play of the game every time.
Who was the Red Sox player of the day?
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