Game 56: Kevin Kiermaier Hits Inside the Park Homerun in 7-1 Loss

By Fletcher Keel

The Tampa Bay Rays entered the second game of their three game series with the Boston Red Sox with high emotions after, following a game that featured three hit batters, three ejections and extra innings. Unfortunately, the emotions couldn’t carry into tonight, and if they did, they weren’t very pertinent, as the Sox scored in bunches to hand the Rays the series clinching loss, 7-1.

Boston scored the first seven runs of the game, starting in the bottom of the third when Brock Holt knocked his first career home run in a similar location where Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings collided last night, which also scored Jonathan Herrera. Later in the same frame, Mike Carp flew out to center field, but Xander Bogaerts tagged to score and give Boston the 3-0 lead.

The Red Sox tacked on two runs in the fourth, which also was the final inning Rays’ starter Jake Odorizzi would pitch in. Herrera tacked on an RBI to his offensive line, as he laid down a bunt single, which scored Grady Sizemore, and would be Odorizzi’s final batter faced. Replacing him was Cesar Ramoswho struck out his first batter, Holt, but intentionally walked Boagerts to bring up A.J. Pierzynskiwhich turned out to back fire, as Pierzynski singled to…you guessed it, center field, which brought Herrera across the plate for the second time of the game. Odorizzi ended the night going 3.1 innings, allowing six hits, five runs and striking out six, moving his ERA to 5.13 on the year.

Ramos had a rough fifth inning, facing seven batters, but only allowed (if that’s how you want to look at it) two runs, after a 3-1 sinker to Jackie Bradley Jr. was left over the plate, and taken out of the park, scoring Bradley Jr. and Sizemore.

Finally, in the top of the eighth and down 7-0, the Rays got on the board, after newly re-called up Kevin Kiermaier hit a line drive off the Green Monster, and hit Bradley Jr. in the face, causing him to be unable to play the ball, and allow Kiermaier to go all around the basepaths for the second inside-the-park home run for Tampa this year.

Aside from the home run in the fifth inning, Ramos pitched fairly well and, most importantly, saved the rest of the bullpen, going the final 4.2 innings after Odorizzi came out, and finishing with allowing five hits, a walk and two strikeouts.

On the other side, Rubby De La Rosawho made his first major league start since 2011, finished the evening allowing just four hits through seven innings worked and striking out eight. The Rays had their chances though, but several hard hit balls went right to a Red Sox defender, and allowed Boston to get out of any and all jams.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow, as the Rays will look to halt their five game losing streak (as well as end the Sox six game winning streak) as Erik Bedard will oppose Jon Lester in a 1:35 first pitch.