Mar 6, 2018; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) is congratulated by shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) after he hit a home run during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Boston’s 4 Home Runs Too Much For Rays To Overcome

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Tampa Bay Rays fans can only hope today’s game against the Red Sox wasn’t a glimpse of what’s to come in this rebuilding year. Boston applied constant pressure throughout the game en route to a crushing 9-1 victory.

The Long Ball

Home runs played a significant role in Boston’s offense all day. Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts kicked off the scoring with back-to-back blasts in the 2nd inning off Rays starter Chih-Wei Hu.

After scoring two more runs on base hits and doubles, Santiago Espinal belted another home run to lift the Red Sox to a 5-1 lead in the 9th.

A 3-run shot off the bat of Jesus Quiroz put the nail in the coffin for the Rays and extended Boston’s lead to 9-1.

Despite not being able to plate many runs in the game, the one the Rays did push across came on a no-doubter from Jake Bauers that cleared not just the right field wall but the bullpen and the building behind it.

Missed Opportunities

It looked like the Rays’ bats were going to be hot today when Adeiny Hechavarria doubled in the second at-bat of the day. But Tampa couldn’t drive him home, and this became the theme of the game for the home squad.

The bottom of the 3rd seemed promising for the Rays when Mallex Smith led off the inning with a bunt single. Kevin Kiermaier followed with a line drive bullet hit right at the shortstop, allowing Boston to double off Smith.

It was too little too late for the Rays in the bottom of the 9th. Tampa loaded the bases thanks to three walks by Boston’s Roenis Ellis but the Red Sox escaped the jam and closed out the game by way of the double play.

The double play ball proved to be detrimental to the Rays, who hit into four of them throughout the game.

The loss drops the Rays’ Spring Training record to 6-6 and improves Boston’s record to 8-4. The Rays will look to turn it around tomorrow when they host the Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox will hope to pick up where they left off when they face the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow in Clearwater.

About Rachel West

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