Game over: Red Sox 12, Rays 2: The Red Sox rallied from an early deficit to beat the Rays, 12-2, before a sellout crowd of 38,177 at Fenway Park.
Jon Lester pitched into the eighth inning and every Red Sox starter had at least one hit and scored at least one run. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in three runs and Jonny Gomes and Shane Victorino two each.
Game 2 of the best-of-five series will be Saturday at 5:37 p.m. at Fenway. The Red Sox will pitch John Lackey against David Price.
It was the first playoff victory for the Red Sox since Oct. 11, 2008. Ryan Dempster pitched the final inning.
Top of the 9th: Red Sox 12, Rays 2: Jamey Wright, in his playoff debut, allowed four runs on four hits. Victorino (single), Napoli (walk) and Salty (single) drove in runs. What a beating.
Middle of the 8th: Red Sox 8, Rays 2: Lester walked two and left the game with two outs in the eighth. He threw 114 pitches, 71 for strikes. Tazawa got Myers to fly out to end the inning.
Lester got a pat on the chest from Farrell and walked off to a standing ovation. He tipped his cap to the crowd. His line: 7.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 HR.
Top of the 8th: Red Sox 8, Rays 2: Alex Torres, Tampa Bay’s third reliever, retired the Sox in order.
Top of the 7th: Red Sox 8, Rays 2: The Red Sox, worn out from running the bases, went down in order. Lester back to the mound.
Middle of the 6th: Red Sox 8, Rays 2: Lester has retired eight in a row and has thrown only 80 pitches through six innings.
Top of the 6th: Red Sox 8, Rays 2: It’s a butt-kicking at Fenway.
Napoli doubled with one out after belting a ball to left. He should have been out but the throw from Rodriguez was off line. Gomes was then intentionally walked. Salty got up in the count and doubled off the wall. The Rays were slow to react again and Gomes scored from first.
That was it for Moore (4.1 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Wesley Wright came in and struck out Drew. Middlebrooks was intentionally walked. Ellsbury singled off the glove of Wright and Salty scored.
Chris Archer was next out of the bullpen and he allowed by a single by Victorino before Pedroia struck out.
The Sox have sent 19 men to the plate in the last two innings and have scored eight runs on 10 hits.
Middle of the 5th: Red Sox 5, Rays 2: Quick, 11-pitch inning for Lester. Just what he wanted after that big inning. Keeps the momentum with the Sox and helps tire out Moore.
Top of the 5th: Red Sox 5, Rays 2: What a strange inning. But a great one for the Red Sox.
Pedroia singled up the middle. Ortiz then hit a routine fly ball to right that fell between Myers and Jennings and popped into the bullpen for a ground-rule double. It appeared Myers just stopped.
Napoli popped to second but Gomes doubled off the wall to tie the game. It was his first postseason hit.
Saltry struck out for the second out. Then the inning got really weird.
Drew grounded to first base and beat the feed from Loney to Moore. Gomes, one of the smartest base-runners in the game, came all the way around from second and the Sox led, 3-2.
Middlebrooks was next and he knocked a ball off the wall then caromed past Rodriguez. Drew scored and Middlebrooks went to second.
Ellsbury struck out but was safe on a passed ball and Middlebrooks went to third. Victorino then singled and drove in a run. Pedroia grounded out to end a 34-pitch inning for Moore.
Until the inning, Moore was working on a streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings against the Sox dating back to May 14.
Middle of the 4th: Rays 2, Red Sox 0: Zobrist drilled 3-and-1 two-seam fastball into the seats in left, just inside the pole. The pitch was up and out over the plate.
Longoria walked with one out before Young singled to left. But Lester worked out of trouble from there. Red Sox in an early hole.
Top of the 4th: Rays 1, Red Sox 0: The Sox go in order for the first time. Middlebrooks flew to right, Ellsbury grounded out first with Loney making a nice play and Victorino struck out. Moore has thrown 52 pitches.
Middle of the 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0: Lester retired the side in order. He is at 44 pitches through three innings. Just one mistake and it was costly.
Top of the 3rd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0: Moore has thrown 41 pitches and not allowed a hit. Napoli struck out before Gomes lined to left and Rodriguez made a diving catch. Salty walked and took second on a wild pitch. But Drew grounded sharply to short, the ball skipping off the mound.
Middle of the 2nd: Rays 1, Red Sox 0: Lester struck out Longoria and got Young on a soft liner to second. His 2-2 pitch to Rodriguez was a changeup that caught the bottom of the strike zone according to Pitch f/x. But umpire Chris Guccione called it a ball.
Lester then threw a middle-middle 95-mph fastball that Rodriguez drilled into the Monster Seats.
Escobar grounded out to third with Middlebrooks making a nice diving stop.
Lester paused on the first base line to have a conversation with Guccione. That missed pitch cost him. But Lester also had to make a better 3-2 pitch.
Top of the 2nd: Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Victorino was hit by a pitch. But Moore got Pedroia to fly to center and Ortiz to ground to third. He did throw 21 pitches, however, and never showed a fastball better than 92.
Middle of the 1st: Rays 0, Red Sox 0: Lester struck out the side, all swinging, on 14 pitches. Ten of them were strikes. He had his fastball 95-97 and his cutter was a hacksaw. Devastating stuff aided a little by the afternoon shadows.
Late-arriving crowd, no doubt because of the traffic and parking woes.
Pre-game: Good afternoon everybody from now sunny Fenway Park and Game 1 of the Division Series. We’ll have updates here all game, so hang out while you’re at work or school and feel free to leave your comments.
It’ll be Jon Lester against Matt Moore.