Twenty years ago the Tampa Bay then Devil Rays played their first regular season game at Tropicana Field against the Detroit Tigers. Prior to the game today against the Boston Red Sox, members of the team will be recognized, such as Wade Boggs or Roberto Hernandez. In honor of these greats, the Tampa Bay Rays wore throwback jerseys. The Red Sox defeated the Rays last night 1-0 and the Rays were looking to get back into the win column, however the Red Sox handed the Rays another loss by a score of 3-2. The pitching matchup was Rick Porcello versus Andrew Kittridge, who was the starter in bullpen day.
Some key moments in this 3-2 matchup were in the second inning Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homerun to go up 1-0. This was the only run allowed by Kittridge, as he went 3 ⅓ innings.
In the fourth inning, Brad Miller, who made an impressive play earlier, was unable to hold on to the ball on a throw by Matt Duffy and was with an error. This led to Hanley Ramirez scoring on a base hit later in the inning.
Xander Bogaerts drove in another run as he doubled in JD Martinez to put the Red Sox ahead 3-0. After a down year in 2017, Xander has been red hot in this opening series, recording multiple hits in all three games and going 8 for 12 overall.
The Rays got one back in the bottom of the sixth as Joey Wendle scored on Carlos Gomez’ sacrifice fly. In the eighth inning, Carlos Gomez unleashed a solo shot on the first pitch from Bobby Poyner, his first in a Rays uniform.
In the bottom of the ninth, Mallex Smith led off the inning with a walk, but was quickly doubled off when CJ Cron, pitch hitting for Jesus Sucre, hit a liner and Mallex Smith was caught stranded. The Rays would be unable to chip away at the lead at the end of the game.
Just like David Price the night before, Rick Porcello was looking like the former Cy Young winner as he went 5.1 innings with 4 strikeouts while allowing one earned run. The next matchup with feature Hector Velazquez and Jacob Faria on the bump for the Red Sox and Rays respectively.
photo credit: Brian Blanco Getty Images