Red Sox bullpen collapses in opening-day loss to Rays

Red Sox bullpen collapses in opening-day loss to Rays

Kerry Wise
March 31, 2018

Matt Duffy's RBI double three batters into the inning was followed by a bases-loaded walk from Smith (0-1) after Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly allowed an RBI double and walked three while facing just five batters.

Rafael Devers knocked in the only run Price needed on a single up the middle in the top of the seventh, Matt Barnes and Craig Kimbrel each worked scoreless frames and the Red Sox bounced back from a hard defeat barely 24 hours earlier with a 1-0 shutout of the Rays.

The Red Sox had a problem hitting homers in 2017.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts had three hits Thursday but is 0-for-9 lifetime against Snell.

The Boston Red Sox won the AL East a year ago with 93 wins, while the Tampa Bay Rays placed third in the AL East with an 80-82 record. The two-time All-Star was in danger of falling to 2-13 lifetime against Boston before Span delivered his first hit as a Ray.

The Rays had already made a decision to go with a four-man rotation, thanks to ample off days in the opening stretch of the season.

Nunez had an inside-the-park home run in the top of the second inning.

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Nunez has two inside-the-park homers in his career, both coming against the Rays (his previous one came in the 2016 season as a member of the Minnesota Twins).

Quite the fun feat on what has already been a pretty fun opening day.

MORNING BLAZE: Rays team president Brian Auld said there were no injuries from a small grease fire in the upper deck of Tropicana Field that created a smoky haze over the playing field at the dome stadium five hours before game time.

The fire did not impact pregame work or activities.

Rays: RHP Nathan Eovaldi had arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies in his pitching elbow.

Span overcame an early wobble of his own in the season opener to deliver the big hit in a 6-4 victory over the Red Sox. First pitch is slated for just after 4 p.m.

David Price was solid in his return to the Red Sox rotation, allowing four singles over seven scoreless innings of Boston's 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. He's 3-3 with a 3.91 ERA in nine appearances, including eight starts, against his old team. The 2016 AL Cy Young Award victor went 2-4 with a 3.93 ERA in six starts against Tampa Bay last season, although he was 2-1 with a 1.27 ERA in three starts at Tropicana Field.