The anticipated face off between the Red Sox and Rays starter Chris Archer went horribly wrong for the Tampa Bay right-hander, as the Sox rolled their way to an 8-4 victory on Friday at Tropicana Field.
Mookie Betts’ first career grand slam in the top of the second made it 8-0 before the Rays starter could even record six outs.
Archer, who publicly criticized David Ortiz the last time these two played at the Trop, lasted just four innings, allowing eight runs, seven of them earned, on nine hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Rookie Anthony Ranaudo improved to a perfect 3-for-3 in major league starts, going six innings and giving up three runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Yoenis Cespedes knocked in the first run of the night on a single to right in the top of the first that scored Brock Holt from second and moved Dustin Pedroia to third. Daniel Nava later plated Pedroia from third to put the Sox up by a pair.
The Rays couldn’t get out of the inning without allowing any more damage, as Mookie Betts reached on an error by Archer to load the bases and Will Middlebrooks hit a ball off of Archer’s glove. Ben Zobrist collected the ricochet, but threw a one-hopper to first that James Loney couldn’t pick as Cespedes came across with the third run of the frame.
Cespedes was at it again in the second, as Ortiz reached and advanced to second after an errant throw by Yunel Escobar and scored on a double to the gap in right by Cespedes to make it 4-0.
After Betts’ grand slam made it 8-0, the Rays tried to claw their way back, scoring a run in the bottom of the second, two more on a Brandon Guyer homer in the fifth, and one more in the ninth. But it was not enough to fuel a comeback for the Rays as the Sox won their third game in the past four.
MVP: Mookie Betts
The rookie who came into the game with three career RBIs went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, all recorded on his grand slam in the top of the second that put the Red Sox up 8-0. He also made an impressive catch in the fifth, robbing Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier of an extra base hit.
GOAT: Chris Archer
Archer was highly critical of David Ortiz after the last time these two played in St. Petersburg, piggybacking on David Price’s sentiments. The Sox tattooed the Rays starter in Friday’s game, as the right-hander was lucky to make it through four innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits with two walks and three K’s
ICYMI: With two outs in the top of the second and the Red Sox up 4-0, Mookie Betts launched the first grand slam of his professional career to double their lead and all but put this game away.
TWEET OF THE GAME:
The last time Anthony Ranaudo lost a game, Xander Bogaerts was hitting .296/.389/.427 and the Red Sox had won seventh straight. Ahh, June 1.
— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) August 30, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: Mookie Betts (21 years old) became the youngest Red Sox player to hit a grand slam since Tony Conigliaro did it as a 20-year-old on Aug. 24, 1965…Yoenis Cespedes’ RBI single in the top of the first and RBI double in the top of the second represented the 21st and 22d RBIs the outfielder has recorded since being traded from the Oakland A’s…His 22 RBIs in the month of August rank him fifth in the American League, seven behind league-leader Chris Carter of the Astros…Cespedes is hitting .286 in that span, having recorded a hit in all but five of the 25 games he has played with the Sox…Anthony Ranaudo improved to 3-0 in his MLB career…All three wins have come this season in starts for the Red Sox, as he also won his MLB debut on Aug. 1 against the Yankees and his start on Aug. 13 against the Reds…The Red Sox batted around in both the first and second innings of a game for the first time since doing so on Aug. 14, 1962 in Anaheim…Daniel Nava’s three-hit night was the fourth multi-hit game he’s put together this month; Nava is hitting .293 since Aug. 1.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox improved to 59-75 on the season, having gone 3-1 over the first four games of their 10-game road trip. They sit 18.5 games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East, while they are 5.5 behind the Rays to get out of last place in the division.
The Sox are 14 games behind the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers for the second AL Wild Card spot, tied with the Minnesota Twins. Only the Houston Astros (57-78) and the Texas Rangers (52-81) have worse records in the AL than the Sox.
LOOKING AHEAD: Allen Webster is scheduled to get the ball for the Red Sox in the second game of this four-game series; he’s 3-2 with a 5.81 ERA in six starts for the Sox this year. He went 4 1/3 innings and allowed six earned runs to the Mariners in his last start on Sunday.
Jake Odorizzi will start for the Rays, sitting at 9-11 with a 4.23 ERA in 26 starts this year; he’s 0-1 with a 5.79 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox this season. In his last outing on Monday against the Orioles, Odorizzi went four innings, giving up eight runs on 11 hits as the O’s beat the Rays 9-1.