The Rays’ first scored in the second inning; Ben Zobrist led off with a base hit and scored on Jeff Keppinger’s follow-up double.
Starting lefty David Price lasted a mere three innings against the Crimson Stawkings; after pitching his way out of a two-on, no-outs jam in the second inning, he gave up a three spot in the third, hitting former C Kelly Shoppach, yielding a double to Jacoby Ellsbury and walking Dustin Pedroia to load the bases. Adrian Gonzalez singled home a run to tie it up, followed by a sac fly from Kevin Youkilis for the lead. David Ortiz’s infield single capped the scoring in the third.
Price got the yank in the fourth; enter Burke Badenhop. Mark another tally for the home team, as Shoppach doubled and scored an Ellsbury’s base hit. Wade Davis took the hill for the Rays and threw three scoreless innings, giving up only pair of hits.
Meanwhile, speaking of only 2 hits, that’s what the Rays offense managed through the eight innings against Boston’s Josh Beckett. That takes us to the bottom of the eighth.
If you thought Price had a bad day at the office, consider that reliever Joel Peralta allowed 4 runs and only gave up two hits during his performance. He also managed to record zero outs, bringing in Josh Lueke, who fared no better, save for actually notching the next three outs. Lueke allowed another 4 runs to make it 12-1.
Big Ben cranked his first homer of the year in the top of the ninth to account for the other run and a 12-2 final.
It was the type of game that requires amnesia for Rays players, personnel and fans. You find yourself wishing for the last 3 & ½ hours of your life back. The pitching wasn’t there, the hitting wasn’t there; maybe the airlines lost their arms and bats. There’s no real excuse to make; it was a bad game and the Rays just didn’t get it done. Want a silver lining? Davis had a solid day in relief, though the damage had been done. Any smug baseball writers who thought Davis belonged in the rotation over Jeff Niemann may want to change their tune (though Niemann DID lose in his start Thursday).
The Rays have another matinee scheduled for a 4:05 start Saturday. Perhaps Jeremy Hellickson will have a better day against Clay Buchholz.