After spending more than a month in Florida, the Boston Red Sox were greeted with not-so-spring-like conditions as they geared up for their home opener Thursday. Their starters have thrown 22 innings and have only given up four earned runs. The left-hander allowed just three hits and struck out five, blanking Tampa Bay for the same 21 outs he recorded in Friday's 1-0 shutout. Hanley Ramirez dropped an RBI single into center and Xander Bogaerts was down to his final strike before lacing a two-out RBI double off the Green Monster, tying the game at 2-2.
The Red Sox looked intent on wasting a second straight brilliant outing from David Price until the bottom of the ninth. In his first start of the 2018 season, he picked up right where he had left off.
- The Red Sox were 5-65 when trailing after eight innings last season. After all, when she returned home from the Rio Olympics in August 2016, she threw out the first pitch at a Red Sox game - and even made Ortiz her personal medal holder. They've been winning games because their starters have been pitching to their full potential, unlike how they've won in years past. The Rays have been outscored 27-11 during their skid. Things haven't worked on that front for Tampa Bay, partially due to a weak offensive start but the fact that the pitching has been mediocre at best is a concern as well.
Tampa Bay has fizzled mightily since starting the season off with that stirring comeback win in the opener. The Rays scored six runs in that contest: in their five losses, they've totaled nine with four of those coming in one game. It was the first to last at least 12 innings. Will Boston run their string to six?
Players, coaches and the Fenway Faithful were bundled up ahead of the team's matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox are taking care of business but this one likely ends up with a higher than expected total: look for the under to come in on the contest thanks to the weather and Tampa's frigid bats.
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