BOSTON – Making his first start with the Red Sox and first start since July 31, 2011, while with the Dodgers, right-hander Rubby De La Rosa delivered a dominant performance Saturday night at Fenway Park, as the Sox pummeled the Rays, 7-1.
De La Rosa, who was added to the roster just before the game, went seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts.
He struck out Rays lead-off batter David DeJesus, looking at fastball, and had at least one strikeout in every inning but the seventh, when he got Desmond Jennings to ground into an inning-ending double play.
De La Rosa earned the win, his first since July 25, 2011, while with the Dodgers against the Rockies.
Jake Odorizzi took the loss, giving up five runs in 3 1/3 innings, on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. He falls to 2-5 with a 5.13 ERA.
The bottom of the Sox lineup – Grady Sizemore, Jackie Bradley, and Jonathan Herrera — went a combined 6-for-12 with five runs scored, three RBI, a home run, and two strikeouts.
The Sox scored three runs in the third. Brock Holt’s first major league home run, scoring Herrera who led off with a single, would be all the runs the Sox would need. They added a run when Mike Carp’s sacrifice fly scored Xander Bogaerts, who walked, went to second on A.J. Pierzynski’s single, and took third on a wild pitch.
They added two in the fourth when Sizemore led off with a single, stole second, took third on Bradley’s groundout and scored on Herrera’s bunt single, ending Odorizzi’s outing. With Cesar Ramos on the mound, Herrera, who took second on a wild pitch and scored on Pierzynksi’s single.
In the fifth, Bradley’s first home run of the season, scoring Sizemore, who singled, gave the Sox a 7-0 lead.
The Rays got a run in the eighth when Kevin Keirmaier led off with a fly ball of the wall in left-center off Alex Wilson. Bradley leaped against the wall for the catch, but the ball caromed and hit him in the nose. As Bradley crumpled to the ground, Keirmaier raced around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
· Making his first start with the Sox and first since July 31, 2011, De La Rosa dominated the Rays. He is the first Sox pitcher to allow now runs or walks with at least eight strikeouts in his first start since Calvin Schiraldi in 1987. He is the first ever to do so at Fenway.
· The Red Sox scored seven runs before the Rays could get on the scoreboard.
· The bottom third of the order – Sizemore, Bradley, Herrera – accounted for six of the Sox 11 hits, five of their seven runs, and three of seven RBI.
· Holt and Bradley each hit two-run home runs, the first of the season for each, and the first of his career for Holt.
· Bradley suffered a bloody nose when he crashed into the wall on Kiermaier’s inside-the-park home run in the eighth, when the ball caromed off the wall and hit him in the nose.
· Making his first start with the Sox, De La Rosa threw seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits with no walks and eight strikeouts. It is his first major league win since July 25, 2011, while with the Dodgers against the Rockies.
· Holt went 2-for-5 with his first major league home run. He has reached base in 10 of his last 12 games, batting .327, going 17-for-52 in that stretch. He also had a couple of nice fielding plays, including one to end the second inning with runners at the corners and no outs, diving to his right to stop Sean Rodriguez’s sharply hit bouncer.
· Herrera went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, in his first multi-hit game of the season.
· The Sox extended their season-best win streak to six games. It is the longest streak in the majors following a double-digit losing streak since the Orioles won six in a row from Aug. 29 – Sept. 4, 2004 after a 12-game losing streak.
· The Sox won their third straight series for just the second time this season.
· Every American League East team except the Rays won on Saturday. So, the Sox didn’t gain any ground in the division, but they improved to 11-17 against the AL East.
· They also improved to 14-17 at Fenway and 3-5 against the Rays.
AROUND THE BASES:
· The six-run margin of victory was one shy of their largest this season.
· Bogaerts went 1-for-3 and has reached base in 18 of his last 19 games, batting .387, going 29-for-75 with eight doubles, a triple, two home runs, eight RBI, and seven walks. He was walked intentionally in the fourth for the first time in his career. Bogaerts has reached base 89 times this season, most by an AL rookie before the month of June since Ichiro Suzuki reached 97 times in 2001. Bogaerts has reached base three or more times with an extra-base hit in four straight games. The only other Sox batter to do that since 2000 are David Ortiz in 2007 and Manny Ramirez in 2006.
· Bradley hit his first home run of the season off Rays lefty Ramos. It is his fourth career home run and first against a lefty. It snapped a stretch of 170 homerless at-bats since Sept. 22, 2103.
· Mike Carp was hit by a pitch in the second inning, the fourth time he has been hit this season, all in the last seven games. It sets a new single-season career high.
· Pierzynski extended his hit streak to 10 games in which he is batting .409, going 18-for-44, raising his average from .244 to .288. It is his longest hit streak since his career best 16-games from July 21 – Aug. 15, 2012. He has multiple hits in four straight games, matching a career high for the ninth time, and first since 2011.
· Wilson was optioned to Pawtucket after the game.
· X-rays and an MRI on Dustin Pedroia’s right hand Saturday revealed no fractures or structural damage. Pedroia left Friday’s game in the 10th inning after injuring his hand in the fourth inning. Manager John Farrell said after the game Pedroia was available for defense, and is expected to be in the starting lineup on Sunday.
· Rays catcher Ali Solis left the game during his third-inning at-bat after getting hit in the nose when the pitch ricocheted off catcher A.J. Pierzynski and the ground. The Rays announced he suffered a nasal contusion.
The Sox and Rays conclude the three-game series at 1:35 Sunday at Fenway in a battle of lefties. Jon Lester (5-6, 3.45 ERA) gets the start in the homestand finale, opposed by the Rays’ Erik Bedard (2-3, 4.10).
This will be the first time Lester has faced the Rays since getting the win in Game 1 of the ALDS last season. In that game he went 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs with seven strikeouts. In the regular season last year, he went 2-1 with a 4.32 ERA, giving up 12 runs over 25 innings in four starts.
In his last outing, May 27 against the Braves, he earned the win, giving up three runs in six innings with eight strikeouts.
In five starts at Fenway this season, Lester is 1-4 with a 3.73 ERA.
In 14 career starts against the Sox, Bedard is 5-5 with a 4.50 ERA, giving up 40 earned runs over 80 innings. This will be his second start this season against the Sox. On April 29 he five innings, allowing one run, leaving with the game tied.
In 13 career starts at Fenway he is 3-5 with a 5.40 ERA, allowing 36 earned runs over 60 innings. Since the start of 2006, he has a 3.59 ERA at Fenway over nine starts, including five while with the Sox in 2011.
In his last outing, Monday against the Blue Jays, Bedard took the loss, going four innings, giving up eight earned runs on 13 hits, including two home runs.