Red Sox easily beat Rays in home opener
David Price just wanted to brush this one off as a bad day.
Coming off a decent start in his first one of the season — an 8-6 win over the Yankees last Saturday — Price looked good in the opening two innings before lack of command and few well-placed hits led to the end of his day after the third. He allowed three runs and four hits, struck out three and walked three.
''I felt good, man. I just didn't have it,'' he said. ''I'm going to have 33, 34 starts this year. There's just going to be days you don't have it. There's going to be one or two starts you don't have it. My body felt good, my arm felt good.''
Price (1-1) also had a couple of bad breaks. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a soft liner down the left-field line for a double. Adrian Gonzalez sent an opposite-field single through a hole at third. David Ortiz had a check-swing RBI infield hit to cap the scoring against Price and give Boston a 3-1 edge.
''It was a very fortuitous game for the Red Sox, a lot of things fell in,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''It was just one of those days. It was the Red Sox's day.''
Josh Beckett pitched eight solid innings as Boston rebounded from a rough road trip by winning its eighth straight home opener. But the Red Sox also lost center fielder Ellsbury to an injured right shoulder in the fourth.
Ellsbury was hurt trying to break up a double play in the fourth when Rays shortstop Reid Brignac landed on his right arm. Ellsbury, the runner-up in the voting for AL MVP last year, stayed on the ground while a trainer tended to him. He walked off the field while keeping his right arm bent at the elbow, and there was no immediate report on the extent of his injury.
Youkilis had three RBI and Ortiz drove in two runs as Bobby Valentine won his first home game as Boston's manager. Gonzalez and Kelly Shoppach had three hits.
The Red Sox began their 101st season at Fenway Park, and their winning streak in home openers is the longest current string in the majors. Boston entered the game with a 1-5 record that included a 10-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in which Beckett (1-1) allowed five homers.
But Beckett limited the Rays to one run and five hits. He struck out just one, getting Carlos Pena in the eighth and extending his streak to 281 games with at least one strikeout since the start of his career. Only Dwight Gooden has a longer streak to begin his career, 349 games from 1984 to 1997.
The Rays went ahead 1-0 with no outs in the second on a single by Ben Zobrist and a double by Jeff Keppinger. That was Tampa Bay's last hit until Matt Joyce singled with two outs in the sixth. Jose Molina added a two-out single in the seventh before Beckett retired his last four batters.
Zobrist also hit his first homer of the year, a solo shot in the ninth.
The Red Sox took the lead for good against Price in third. The RBI by Gonzalez and Youkilis were the first in their careers against Price.
Boston made it 4-1 in the fourth off Burke Badenhop on a double by Shoppach and a single by Ellsbury. On the next play, Dustin Pedroia grounded to Brignac, who stepped on second and fired to first to complete the double play.
NOTES: Price is 10-2 in opposing AL East parks. ... Tampa Bay is 1-3 since starting the season with a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees.