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(Friday, April 13th)
Final Score: Boston 12, Tampa Bay 2
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Josh Beckett tossed eight innings of one-run ball, and the Boston Red Sox kicked off the 100-year anniversary of Fenway Park with a 12-2 decision over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a four-game set.
Beckett (1-1) scattered five hits and walked one for Boston, which won their eighth straight home opener, the longest current winning streak for any Major League team.
"It's just what the doctor ordered," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Beckett's start. "...He threw great curveballs, had terrific control, threw all of his fastballs over 90 miles per hour. That's what we were hoping for."
Beckett improved to 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA in five home openers for Boston.
The 31-year-old bounced back from a rough outing in his season debut on Saturday, when he allowed seven runs on seven hits and one walk to the Detroit Tigers in 4 2/3 innings.
Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury left the game in the bottom of the fourth inning with a right shoulder injury. He suffered the injury while sliding into second to break up a double play.
"He was in a lot of pain," Valentine said of Ellsbury's injury.
Kelly Shoppach had three hits with three runs scored, two RBI, and stole the first base of his career, while Kevin Youkilis added two hits, three RBI and a run scored for Boston, which blew the game open with an eight-run home eighth.
David Price (1-1) was chased out in the third inning after giving up three runs on four hits and three walks. He threw 83 pitches.
The Red Sox plated three runs in the home half of the third to establish a 3-1 advantage. Shoppach led off and was hit by a pitch before Ellsbury poked a double down the left-field line to put baserunners at second and third with none out.
Price walked Dustin Pedroia to load the bases and Adrian Gonzalez slapped a base hit through the left side of the infield to plate Shoppach. Youkilis' sacrifice fly to right field brought home Ellsbury and David Ortiz's infield single scored Pedroia.
Darnell McDonald then walked to load the bases, but Cody Ross grounded into an inning-ending double play to keep it a two-run game.
Boston added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Shoppach reached with a one-out double and scored on Ellsbury's single through the hole on the right side.
The Red Sox exploded for eight runs -- seven coming with no outs -- in the home eighth to put the game away.
"I wasn't displeased. It was a 4-1 game in the eighth, then, all of a sudden, it turns into a bad baseball game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of the loss.
Shoppach laced a two-run double down the left-field line, Ryan Sweeney drove in two with a bloop single, Youkilis plated two with a base hit up the middle, Ortiz brought home one with an opposite-field double and Ross picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Ben Zobrist smacked a home run in the visitor's ninth to conclude the scoring. Tampa Bay's other run came in the top of the second, when Jeff Keppinger doubled home Zobrist.
The Red Sox were 10-for-17 with runners in scoring position...Ellsbury had two hits with an RBI and run scored before departing...Boston is 3-0 in home openers against the Rays.
04/13 23:16:35 ET
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