|Boston Red Sox's Cody Ross hits a two-run double in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays in Boston, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)|
Rays pounded for 2nd straight day by Red Sox, 13-5
BOSTON—What a turnaround from last year.
One season ago, the Tampa Bay Rays' pitchers dominated Boston's batters. Two games into their matchup this season, they can't keep the Red Sox from posting double digits in runs.
Jeremy Hellickson allowed three of Boston's five homers as the Red Sox thumped the Rays again, 13-5 on Saturday.
"He threw the ball in the nitro zone a little too much and they weren't missing it," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It was just bad location, maybe some pitch selection."
Last year, the Rays won 12 of 18 meetings with the Red Sox, held them to a .189 average, three runs or fewer in 11 games and two or fewer eight times.
The Red Sox have already scored at least two runs in an inning six times over the last two days -- four on Saturday. The Rays lost 12-2 on Friday in Boston's home opener.
"Definitely location," Hellickson said. "I've got to execute better than what I did out there. I've just got to throw more strikes. I felt good. Arm felt good. Nothing with the head. ... Just made some bad pitches."
David Ortiz homered and drove in five runs. Mike Aviles, Dustin Pedroia, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Cody Ross also went deep.
The game was tied 5-all until Aviles homered to start a three-run seventh inning. Aviles was replacing an injured Jacoby Ellsbury as the leadoff hitter.
The Red Sox rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the first as Clay Buchholz (1-0) settled down after that rough start.
Ellsbury, last year's runner-up for AL MVP, went on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a partially dislocated right shoulder. He was hurt trying to break up a double play Friday.
Aviles, batting first for the 46th time in 346 career games, led off the seventh with a homer, his first of the season, off Burke Badenhop (0-1). The Red Sox then loaded the bases against J.P. Howell on a double by Adrian Gonzalez, a walk to Kevin Youkilis and a single by Ortiz. Ross followed with a two-run double for an 8-5 lead.
Hellickson struggled in his first start since being hit in the head with a ball during batting practice on Wednesday. He gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings.
Tampa Bay took its first-inning lead on an RBI double by Carlos Pena and a three-run homer by Luke Scott, his first of the year.
The Red Sox cut that in half on Saltalamacchia's two-run homer, his first, but Scott's run-scoring double in the third made it 5-2.
Boston tied it with two more homers -- a solo shot by Pedroia and a two-run drive by Ortiz in the fifth.
The club's fourth homer, by Aviles, gave the Red Sox the lead for good.
Aviles had batted only eighth and ninth this season, but Ellsbury's injury left a vacancy at the top of the order that figured to be tough to fill.
The center fielder batted .321 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs and led the majors with 364 total bases last season. He was hurt when he slid into second base in the fourth inning trying to break up a double play and shortstop Reid Brignac landed hard on Ellsbury's right shoulder.
Boston manager Bobby Valentine gave no timetable for Ellsbury's return.
The Red Sox scored five runs in the eighth on a three-run double by Ortiz and a two-run homer by Ross.
NOTES: The Rays placed C Jose Lobaton on the 15-day DL after the game and selected the contract of C Chris Gimenez from Triple-A Durham. ... The Rays optioned RHP Josh Lueke to Durham and recalled RHP Dane De La Rosa from their top farm team. Lueke allowed four runs and six hits in one inning Friday. ... The Red Sox called up OF Che-Hsuan Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Ellsbury's roster spot. ... The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Bill Hogan Jr., who was born six days before Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. Saturday was his 100th birthday. ... Boston LF Carl Crawford, recovering from wrist and elbow injuries, took batting practice.