Final Score: Boston 3, Tampa Bay 2
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Mike Napoli's double off the Green Monster brought home the winning run, as the Boston Red Sox earned a Patriots' Day win with a 3-2 triumph over the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
Dustin Pedroia reached base with a one-out walk in the bottom of the ninth and sprinted all the way around when Napoli ripped a Joel Peralta (0-1) fastball off the wall. The Red Sox swept the rain-shortened three-game set and have won five of their last seven.
"He reached for it," Peralta recalled. "It was down and away in the corner, where I wanted it. He got it, you know. Good for him. It was a good pitch."
Andrew Bailey (1-0) entered in the top of the ninth trying to lock down the save, but allowed the tying run to score on Ben Zobrist's RBI single. He retired the next three batters in order.
"Well the key was, after they scored the run and despite the blown save, Bailey does a great job cutting it off right there to keep it tied," said Red Sox manager John Farrell.
Jacoby Ellsbury had a triple with a run scored and Jarrod Saltalamacchia added a solo homer in the victory.
Boston's starting pitching has been magnificent so far, and for the 12th straight game allowed less than three runs. Ryan Dempster had been in line for his first win after striking out 10 over seven innings and allowing just two hits.
His only real blemish came when he surrendered a solo homer to Evan Longoria.
Jeremy Hellickson struck out nine and allowed just two runs on three hits in seven innings, but got hardly any support from Tampa Bay's sputtering offense.
The struggling Rays, losers in six of seven, managed just four hits and have scored only six runs in their last five games. Nearly no-hit by Boston's Clay Buchholz on Sunday, Tampa Bay has just seven hits over its last 18 innings.
Boston also had its struggles at the plate on Monday, matching the Rays' four hits, but jumped out to the early lead after Ellsbury tripled to start the first. He then trotted home on Shane Victorino's groundout to second.
Besides Longoria's monster homer in the fourth, which tied the game at 1-1, Dempster gave up just a bunt single and was overpowering on the mound, striking out a pair of batters in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings.
After Ellsbury's triple, Hellickson settled in by retiring 12 batters in a row, but that streak ended when he gave up Saltalamacchia's homer to begin fifth, which gave Boston a 2-1 lead.
All players and on-field personnel wore No. 42 on their uniforms to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day. Sixty-six years ago, Robinson played in his first major league game, breaking the color barrier in baseball ... Pedroia has reached base safely in each of the first 12 games ... The Red Sox have won 10 of the last 13 games played on Patriots' Day ... Dempster and Buchholz are the first Red Sox starters to have at least 10 strikeouts in consecutive games since Pedro Martinez and Hideo Nomo accomplished the feat in 2001 .. It was Dempster's 15th career 10-strikeout game.
04/15 23:48:27 ET
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