Betts slam sends Red Sox past Rays


Aug 29, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) is congratulated by third base coach Brian Butterfield (13) as he runs around the bases after he hit a grand slam during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The day off yesterday must have done the Red Sox good. Friday night in Tampa the Sox offense exploded and the defense held its ground in the series opener.

The big story from the offensive side of the game was the grand slam by Mookie Betts in the second inning. It was only Mookie’s third homer of the season and his first grand salami. His jack scored Yoenis Cespedes, Daniel Nava, and Mike Napoli. Cespedes wasn’t content to let Mookie get all the offensive focus. He hit an RBI single and double and scored a run on a Will Middlebrooks single. (Yes, you read that right. Middlebrooks got an RBI!) Brock Holt also had a pair of hits. The Sox scored three runs in the first inning and five runs in the second. The offense let the defense take over after that.

Anthony Ranaudo was called up for the game tonight. The young righty picked up his third career major league win. He used 99 pitches to get through six innings. He allowed five hits and three runs. He only struck out four and walked three. His ERA is now 4.50. Craig Breslow took over for one hitless inning that included a walk. Burke Badenhop, on the other hand, allowed two hits in his one inning of work. Edward Mujica was given the ball in the bottom of the ninth with a 8-3 lead. He used 16 pitches to allow two hits and, thankfully, only one run.

It’s worth noting that the Rays’ Chris Archer lasted only four innings after allowing seven earned runs on ten hits with only three strike outs. He now has a 8-7 record with 3.40 ERA.

The Red Sox will take on the Rays again Saturday night at 7:10 when Allen Webster (3-2, 5.81 ERA) squares off against Jake Odorizzi (9-11, 4.23 ERA).