Rays hold off Red Sox 8-7 in back and forth affair

Rays Red Sox

Rays 8, Red Sox 7

The Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox had themselves an old-fashioned hit parade on Monday night. 15 runs, 28 hits, with only one of them leaving the ballpark. Something not seen very often in the game today.

The Red Sox got the scoring started in the bottom of the first when Xander Bogaerts doubled home Alex Verdugo. He would later score on a Kevin Plawecki single to give the Sox an early 3-0 advantage.

After the Rays got a run in the second, JD Martinez would push the lead back to three in the third. This coming on his first home run of the season, a 435 foot blast that cleared the monster seats in left.  He did a great job pulling his hands in to hit a Ryan Yarbrough cutter running in off the plate.

The Rays were able to bounce back quickly with some extra-base hits of their own in the next few innings. They scored at least one run in innings four through eight to take an 8-5 advantage heading into the bottom of the eighth. The bullpen was able to hang out for an 8-7 victory with Andrew Kittredge earning his first save of the season.

Margot Magic

The 2020 season has not gone the way Manuel Margot envisioned. Since being traded to the Rays in the off-season, Margot has struggled at the plate, as well as in the outfield. Not to mention the fact that he missed time to attend his father’s funeral in the Dominican Republic. Rays fans had nearly seen enough when he dropped a fly ball near the wall on Sunday to allow two Yankee runs to score, giving them a 3-0 lead.

Monday, however, would be a welcome sight as he would play against the team who originally signed him. Margot would go 4-4, reaching base in all five plate appearances. Two of those hits were ringing doubles off the green monster. That’s the kind of game that will allow fans to forget about the early season woes for their new outfielder. Hopefully, that is a sign of things to come for Margot.

Michael Perez Stays Hot

With Mike Zunino continuing to struggle at the plate, Rays fans are excited to see Michael Perez get his fair shake. The left-handed-hitting catcher started the season 0-7 but has seen his bat come up clutch in the past few days. He had the sole RBI in Friday’s win, as well as the walk-off winner on Sunday. Monday saw his average rise to .231 behind a 2-5 night.

Perez deserves more time behind the plate, but with toned down expectations. Zunino will still get the majority of the starts as he is one of the best defensive catchers in the league. He has power that the Rays know is close to coming out. All that being said, Perez has shown to be more than capable of a more solid platoon system. Expect Zunino to start Tuesday versus the lefty, but Perez will be back in action much sooner than later.

All Hands on Deck

The Rays and Red Sox both used six different pitchers in Monday’s four-hour shootout. Not exactly how they wanted to start a four-game series.

The Rays got the win, despite not handing the ball over to Diego Castillo or Nick Anderson late in the game. The Rays pen did their best to bend and not break as they went four and two-thirds innings behind the starter Yarbrough. Jose Alvarado and Pete Fairbanks were a bit shaky as they let the lead shrink down to one in the eighth inning. This came after Fairbanks got two quick strikeouts to begin the frame.

The Red Sox had a different approach as they went with a full bullpen day. The bulk guys behind the opener struggled to keep the Rays off the base paths. They surrendered 15 hits and seven walks after Ryan Brasier’s scoreless first.

Up Next

The Rays and Red Sox will play game two of this series on Tuesday at 7:30 Eastern.

Rays will start with the man who finished it last night in Andrew Kittredge (0-0, 2.35). He will act as the opener with the likes of Jalen Beeks and others taking the bulk orders for the evening.

The Red Sox will go with southpaw Martin Perez (2-1, 3.45) on Tuesday night. The Sox would love to see a repeat of his five scoreless innings he threw in his last start.

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