Rays Colored Glasses: Bats Bust Out
Date: April 11, 2011
A: Boston Red Sox
W: Jeremy Hellickson (1-1) 4.09 ERA
L: Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-2) 12.86 ERA
Ben Ice said in reference to Tampa’s perfect spring record against the Red Sox, “I’m sure they have a little extra emotion going into games against Boston.” The Rays certainly got up for this game.
Where has this offense been all year?
The Rays pounded out 20 hits in a 16-5 pasting of the Red Sox. The fun started with a Johnny Damon homer into the Rays’ bullpen in the first. The booing was loud and fierce for the former Red Sox at first, but as the game went on and Damon kept getting hits, the jeering became less enthusiastic.
Most of the damage was done in a six run second that was capped by a two run homer by Sam Fuld, that just wrapped around Pesky’s pole. Fuld was the offensive hero tonight with that homer in the second, a double in the fourth, and a triple in the sixth. The Rays put together a rally in the ninth to give Fuld a chance to get the single he was missing for the cycle. He responded by lining a ball down the left field line. He legged out his second double of the game. Kudos to him for keeping the team in mind ahead of individual accomplishments.
It was a night in which almost everything went right for the Rays. In the seventh inning, the Red Sox loaded the bases with no one out. Kevin Youkilis hit a hard line drive right at Ben Zobrist who was able to double off Dustin Pedroia and the Rays were able to escape the inning with only one run scoring.
About the only thing that didn’t go right was the pitching. Jeremy Hellickson and company were effective enough, yet they struggled to put the Red Sox away, despite working with a big lead all night. Hellickson struggled through 5.1 innings with so-so command. Joel Peralta and Kyle Farnsworth both had difficulty in an inning of work a piece. There was little doubt that the Rays would win this one, but Joe Maddon was forced to use most of the bullpen which could affect the Rays in the next few games. Farnsworth struggled so much in the ninth that Jake McGee started warming up in earnest. He was able to finish it giving the Rays their second win of the year.
Player of the Game: Sam Fuld (4 for 6, 3 Runs, 3 RBI, 11 total bases)
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