Tampa Bay Rays at Boston Red Sox
On Friday night, the Boston Red Sox called upon 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello to face off against the Rays’ ace, Chris Archer.
Archer entered the game with an 11-game losing streak to the Red Sox. The longest losing streak by any pitcher to a single team in the last 30 years. Plus, he had never won at Fenway Park.
Having scored just seven runs in their last three games, and coming off of a four-day stretch in New York that saw the team lose three straight at the hands of the Yankees – the Rays were looking for life from the offense.
They received plenty.
Welcome Mr. Peterson
Rays outfielder Mallex Smith was placed on the 10-day DL (hamstring) on Friday, Shane Peterson was the beneficiary of that injury. In the second inning, Peterson was the beneficiary of something else – a belt-high fastball. His first home run of the season put the Rays on top 2-0.
Porcello went all of 2016 issuing multiple walks in just six games. He walked two in the third inning. After his second walk of the inning led to a mound visit and a bases loaded situation, Logan Morrison stepped in.
— MLB (@MLB) April 15, 2017
Four. That’s how many runs the Rays tacked on when Morrison deposited the Porcello offering into the right field seats. In just three innings of play, the Rays had all but equaled their run production from the series against New York.
Adding insult to injury, Brad Miller and Steven Souza Jr belted back-to-back home runs in their half of the fifth inning. Miller finished the night just a double shy of the cycle. And in his debut, Peterson drove in three runs.
It was the first time in his nine-year career that Porcello gave up four home runs in a game.
After some control problems in the fourth inning, Archer was able to get out of a bases loaded jam unscathed. He was not so fortunate in the fifth, however. After a two-out double off the bat of Dustin Pedroia, Sox rookie Andrew Benintendi got Boston on the board with an RBI-single. Pedroia, Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts led the way for Boston with 11 of their 14 hits.
Archer left the game after going 5.2IP – 6H – 1ER – 2BB – 5K.
Jumbo Diaz finished up the sixth inning before making way for Austin Pruitt who would go on to allow four more runs to cross the plate. Although the game was significantly in his favor, manager Kevin Cash found himself in a tough spot late in the game.
The Red Sox rallied for three runs in the bottom-of-the ninth and after Bogaerts drove in Betts to cut the deficit to five runs, Cash went to his closer. Needing just two outs, Alex Colome retired Pablo Sandoval and Chris Young to secure the win.
Rays win 10-5
W: Chris Archer (2-0; 2.21)
L: Rick Porcello (1-1; 7.56)
Chris Sale (0-1; 1.23) looks for his first win of the season on Saturday. Jake Odorizzi (1-1; 4.50) goes for the Rays. Like Archer, Odorizzi has had a hard time winning at Fenway Park. Just one win in eight career starts.