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The first game of the series is the most import; it sets the tone for the game that follow. Do the batters tend to swing at a first pitch strike? Are they aggressive on the bases? Do they employ a shift defense? These type of questions are answered in the first game. This is the first time the Rays will head to Fenway to face Red Sox this season.
Game One 4/19
This game was a pitchers duel by definition. Rays starter Drew Smyly had a spectacular outing. He had 8 innings pitched, 11 strikeouts, 2 walk and only one hit. Smyly’s performance and ability to stay in the game will no doubt offer an advantage to the Rays who will have a well rested bullpen. The Red Sox Starter Joe Kelly left the game without completing one full inning due to an apparent injury. The Red Sox bullpen was heavily used due to the injury of Kelly. A total of (5?) Red Sox Bullpen pitchers were used with a combined 3 hits and 11 strikeouts. In the 9th inning Erasmo Ramirez took over for Smyly and had a solid inning with 1 strikeout and no runs. In the top of the 10th inning Matt Barnes came into the game and opened the floodgates allowing Kevin Kiermaier to score the first run of the game with a home run to right, followed by loading the bases for Desmond Jennings to get a ground rule double to score 3 more runs. Bottom of the 10th Alex Colome came in a closed the game out.
Winning: Ramirez Losing: Barnes Save: Colome Score: 3-0 Rays
Game Two 4/20
This will be Chris Archer’s fourth start and he was in desperate need of a win. In the first inning it was clear that he was still stuck in his funk. The Red Sox scored 3 runs in the first; 1 on a single by Xander Bogaerts and 2 on a double by David Ortiz. The second inning did not shape up to be much better with Mookie Betts hitting a 2 run home run. In the fifth Ortiz adds insult to injury with a double to score Bogaert making the score 6-0 Red Sox. After that double, Archer got pulled and the bullpen took over. Meanwhile, the Red Sox starter Rick Porcello is cruising. It’s not until the the 6th that Porcello starts to falter, allowing Evan Longoria to sacrifice an out to score Logan Forsythe who tripled. Additionally, later in the 6th Corey Dickerson hit a solo home run to make the score 6-2 Red Sox. Red Sox Chris Young singles to score Betts in the 6th making the score 7-2. In the 7th Kevin Kiermaier double and scored a run on a single by Hank Conger, score is not 7-3 Red Sox. . Porcello was relieved in the 8th in favor of Tazawa and Ramirez.
Winning: Porcello Losing: Archer Score: 7-3 Red Sox
Game 3 4/21
The last game of the series and it is split 1-1. This will be the first time the Rays would see their former ace David Price since he joined the Red Sox and Rays starter Jake Ordorizzi was coming off his best start of his career. Both teams are hungry to close out the series and the Rays started out strong with a single to center field by Steve Pearce that allows Forsythe to score; 1-0 Rays. But the Red Sox would be quick to respond and quickly score 5 runs off Odorizzi in the 1st; Dustin Pedroia homered, Hanley Ramirez singled to score Bogaerts, Brock Holt singled to score Ramirez, and Travis Shaw stole home on a wild pitch. 5-1 Red Sox. The first was messy and a lot of people may have thought that was game, but oh no. In the 3rd inning Longoria hit a single home run off Price, making the score 5-2, and the Rays start to chip away. Price was back out in the 4th and the Rays were off to the races; Curt Casali homered to score Kiermaier, Longoria doubled to score Forsythe and Guyer, and Desmond Jennings doubled to score Longoria. Price left the game playing only 3.2 innings and the score the 7-5 Rays. Barnes (the pitcher that the Rays hit so well off of Tuesday) entered the game and Steven Souza Jr. singled and allowed Jennings to score. 8-5 Rays.
The drama continued throughout the rest of the game. In the 7th inning Mookie Betts homered to score Christian Vazquez; 8-7 Rays. In the 7th Shaw doubled off Xavier Cedeno to score Ortiz and the game is tied 8-8. The Rays quickly answer in the 8th with Souza doubles off William Cuevas to score Jennings; 9-8 Rays. The Rays bust open the game in the 9th. Kiermaier turned a right field single in a double and was to score a run on a single by Forsythe; 10-8 Rays. Dickerson will pinch hit and gets a double to score Forsythe and Guyer; 12-8 Rays. Dana Eveland starts the bottom of the 9th inning but after a double and a walk, Kevin Cash decided to bring in Alex Colome to close the game.
Winning: Erasmo Ramirez Losing: William Cuevas Save: Alex Colome Score: 12-8 Rays
This series had everything a baseball fan would want; highs, lows, and tons of drama. This series makes me excited for the season. Now, the Rays go on to New York to face the Evil Empire.
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