Monday, June 27, 2016

Baker's delight: Early outburst ends Rays' skid

The Rays jumped all over Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox to snap an 11-game losing streak and hand rookie Blake Snell his first big league victory in a 13-7 win in Monday night's opener of a three-game series.
While this type of outburst was exactly what the Rays needed, another rough -- and short -- outing by a starting pitcher was the last thing the Red Sox were looking for.
"Good win. We needed a win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I'm really happy for the guys, because I know they've been grinding through it. A lot of questions have to be answered when you're not playing well. I think they've handled it pretty admirably."
Tampa Bay leadoff man Logan Forsythe set the tone with three hits, including a homer.Nick Franklin, who was hitless on the season entering the game, went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs. Logan MorrisonDesmond JenningsOswaldo Arcia and Taylor Motteradded multihit games.
The Rays had scored 29 runs over their losing streak, but they broke out of that in a big way.
"I think we were just going out and having fun," said Franklin. "Anytime that we win and put up 13 runs with 18 hits, that's pretty special."
Rodriguez (1-3, 8.59 ERA) was rocked for 11 hits and nine runs over 2 2/3 innings and wasoptioned to Triple-A Pawtucket following the game. But Boston's troubles run much deeper than Rodriguez of late. In the first four games of this six-game road trip, Boston's starters have logged just 15 innings while giving up 37 hits and 27 earned runs.
"To continue to fall behind as much as we are of late, we're more talented than that," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We have the capability of executing pitches at a higher rate. We can't continue to expect our offense to climb out of holes as we've been. We've got to set the tone and lead the way from the mound more than we are."
It was the sixth loss in the last eight games for the 41-35 Red Sox, who are 4 1/2 games back in the American League East for the first time this season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Snell's pace: With a pitch count north of 80 in the fifth inning and the bases loaded for the Red Sox, Snell escaped his biggest jam of the night to preserve a six-run lead. He had just walked David Ortiz to bring in a run and make it 9-3, but Snell got Hanley Ramirez looking to end the inning.
"The whole game plan was to be aggressive, so I knew that I needed to get ahead to put him away, and I threw a curveball and got him," said Snell.
E-Rod rocked: Though the Red Sox don't have all that many internal options, the club had little choice but to send their talented lefty down after the game. For the fourth time in six starts, the lefty was subpar. In this one, he wasn't even competitive. While recording only eight outs, Rodriguez achieved career worsts in hits allowed and earned runs.
"We needed to get some innings tonight," said Farrell. "Felt like he was back to a place after his start five days ago that would carry him through. They bunched a number of hits together. They squared up a number of baseballs, a number of pitches tonight. It was disappointing."
Newfound stardom: Motter, Franklin and Oswaldo Arcia combined for nine hits and seven RBIs. Five different players in the Rays' lineup had three hits and Tampa Bay totaled 18 for the night.
"Fortunately our offense really came out alive tonight in the first, and in the third," Cash said. "Just a great offensive night for the entire club."
Brentz stays hot: A day after ripping his first Major League homer, Bryce Brentz had another strong night for the Red Sox, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Getting a chance to play regularly at a time three other Boston left fielders are on the disabled list, Brentz is hitting .467 (7-for-15) since his callup.
QUOTABLE
"I think guys are playing hard. [Heck], our shortstop ran a 3.9 down the line in the ninth inning down seven runs and then went first to third. So, yeah, that was pretty cool." -- Dustin Pedroia saying that effort isn't the issue for the slumping Red Sox
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The first inning continues to be a huge problem for the Red Sox. The rotation has a 6.28 ERA in the first inning this season. Over its last 15 games, Boston has been outscored, 22-0 in the first
WHAT'S NEXT
Red Sox: Sinkerballer Rick Porcello will be entrusted with trying to end the recent run of bad starts by the Red Sox when he takes the mound vs. the Rays on Tuesday. Porcello gave up eight hits and four runs over 5 1/3 innings of a no-decision in his last start. First pitch is 7:10 p.m. ET.
Rays: Chris Archer (4-10, 4.70 ERA) will try to help the Rays win consecutive games for the first time in nearly two weeks when he takes on the Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. Archer is the only pitcher in baseball with 10 losses and has an ERA over 10 in the first inning of games this season.

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