The Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay again this afternoon at Fenway Park, pushing their winning streak to three in a row.
I got to go to this game – it was my first trip to Fenway this year – and as always, it was a lot of fun. We spent some time before the game grabbing some lunch at the Bleacher Bar, our usual haunt, and looking around the anniversary bricks that the Red Sox placed in the floor of the concourse. A friend of ours had gotten a brick for her father, and she had asked us to find it (our directions: “it’s somewhere near the Yaz plaque,” which makes a lot more sense once you’re there), and snap a picture of it for her.
We settled into our seats just before a Harvard University student on a Jackie Robinson scholarship sang the national anthem. Today was the 65th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier, so every player wore number 42 to recognize the date (this made it a little hard to keep track of who was who, but it was cool nonetheless).
The game was a good one – I kept track of it using my Eephus scorebook. Boston took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a three-run home run by Cody Ross, who sent Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz home. The Sox tacked on another run in the fourth inning, when Kelly Shoppach doubled home David Ortiz. Ortiz, by the way, had a three-for-four day at the plate, capped off with a run-scoring double in the sixth following a Youkilis walk. Mike Aviles broke a 4-4 tie when he led off the seventh inning with a solo shot to center field.
Meanwhile, Boston starter Felix Doubront kept the Rays bats relatively quiet until the fifth inning – the only Rays runner to even sniff home plate was Jeff Keppinger, who got caught in a rundown between third and home when he tried to score from second on a Sean Rodriguez base hit to end the Tampa Bay fourth. Tampa finally got some runs on the board in the fifth inning when Carlos Pena lined a two-run double to right center field, before Evan Longoria hit a ground-rule double of his own to score Pena. Luke Scott (who got a hearty Boston welcome each time he came to bat) launched a solo home run in the sixth inning.
Both bullpens pitched well – after Doubront was taken out following Scott’s home run, Scott Atchison, Vicente Padilla, Franklin Morales, and Alfredo Aceves combined to hold Tampa scoreless, and pick up the win (Padilla) and the save (Aceves). Rays starter Matt Moore, who was tagged with the loss, turned the ball over to Joel Peralta with one out in the seventh innings. Peralta and Fernando Rodney (who, I’m pretty sure, the Fenway announcer and scoreboard called Frank Rodney) kept Boston off the basepaths the rest of the way.
Here’s a link to the box, courtesy of the Red Sox. Boston goes for the sweep tomorrow when Daniel Bard takes to the mound against David Price for the 11:05 a.m. Patriot’s Day matchup.