Red Sox rally late, beat Rays 3-2 in 12th for 6th win in row
BOSTON (AP) Thirteen innings on the road. Twelve at home. Last year, this year – it doesn’t matter how long it takes for the Boston Red Sox.
They just keep winning in extra innings.
Hanley Ramirez blooped a bases-loaded fly ball over the drawn-in outfield in right to break a 12th-inning tie and the Red Sox, who rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth, beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Thursday for their sixth straight victory.
It was the ninth straight Red Sox win in an extra-inning game, dating to 2017, when they were 15-3 in extras. They beat the Miami Marlins in 13 innings on Tuesday night before returning home for the Fenway opener.
”It seems like it’s not a good game unless we play extra innings,” said Mookie Betts, whose single was the first of four hits in the ninth after Boston had just three in the first eight innings.
Tampa Bay beat Boston in the season opener last week.
The Rays haven’t won – and the Red Sox haven’t lost – since. The teams have met five times already this season, with all four Boston victories by one run.
”We’ve played fairly even by run-scoring, I guess,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”But unfortunately they’ve got us four times and we only got them once.”
Bobby Poyner (1-0) pitched two innings, striking out three for his first major league win. Andrew Kittredge (0-2) took the loss, throwing a pair of scoreless innings before running into trouble in the 12th.
Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a double, then took third on sacrifice bunt. Kittredge intentionally walked Betts and then, after he took second, walked Andrew Benintendi to load the bases. With one out and the outfield in, Ramirez looped the ball to right off Ryan Yarbrough that one-hopped the wall.
With the sun beginning to set over the third-base stands and temperatures dropping from a first-pitch reading of 40 degrees, the Red Sox were glad to be finished. They came running out of the dugout to celebrate, and Ramirez fled into the outfield with his teammates in pursuit.
One tried to douse him with a cup of water, but missed.
”It was cold,” Ramirez said. ”I think it was the coldest I’ve ever played in my life.”
David Price pitched seven shutout innings for the second straight outing, but Carson Smith gave up Matt Duffy’s two-run homer in the eighth. The Rays were working on a three-hit shutout before Boston tied it off Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome.
Ramirez singled in one run, J.D. Martinez grounded into a double play and then Xander Bogaerts doubled over the outstretched glove of left fielder Mallex Smith against the Green Monster to tie it. Boston loaded the bases before Bradley hit a grounder toward second.
Opting not to step on the bag for the force out, second baseman Daniel Robertson threw to first and beat Bradley by a split-second; after a challenge by Cora – with the crowd cheering the replays on the scoreboard – the call stood.
Price allowed three hits and three walks while striking out five. Red Sox starters are 4-0 with an 0.83 ERA so far this season.
Yonny Chirinos, making his first career start as the Rays used a ”bullpen day” to fill in for a depleted rotation, pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. Three relievers pitched a scoreless inning apiece, turning a three-hit shutout over to Colome.
With a cold wind blowing out to center at 18 mph, the weather threatened to be a factor early on when Martinez – in his first-ever Fenway at-bat – lofted a fly ball to center to lead off the second. Kevin Kiermaier first came in and then went back, but the ball went off his glove and rolled toward the wall.
Martinez was held up at third base – it was scored a triple – and then with nobody out he stayed there when Bogaerts dinked one to the right side of the infield for a groundout. Two more groundouts later, Chirinos was out of the inning.
The Red Sox introduced both teams on the baselines before the game in a brief ceremony that also featured a moment of silence for Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, who was the oldest living major leaguer before he died in November. Doerr’s retired No. 1 on the right-field facade was encircled by a wreath of flowers.
Several local winter Olympians threw ceremonial first pitches, and gymnastics gold medalist Aly Raisman joined David Ortiz at the mound for the first ”Play Ball!” of the season. Ortiz ripped off his Red Sox jersey to reveal a T-shirt saying ”Girl Power,” and then asked Raisman to pose for a selfie with him.
Ruth Pointer, of The Pointer Sisters, sang the national anthem.
Cora said after the game that Eduardo Rodriguez will be activated on Sunday and start the series finale. The lefthander had right knee surgery in October.
Rays: The teams meet again on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. Righty Jake Faria (0-0) makes his second start of the season. He allowed one run on four hits in four innings against Boston on Sunday.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (1-0) makes his second start, having allowed one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Rays on Saturday.