Price sparkles in return to Red Sox rotation

by Abel Hampton March 31, 2018, 7:45
Price sparkles in return to Red Sox rotation

The Sox were in total control of Alex Cora's managerial debut - until the eighth inning.

Leading 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Boston relievers Joe Kelly and Carson Smith combined to allow six runs in the inning.

The Rays had already made a decision to go with a four-man rotation, thanks to ample off days in the opening stretch of the season. The Sox ace is picking up where he left off. It was the same form Price flashed in three starts at Fort Myers, as he allowed just five hits and struck out 13 across 12 innings of work. He didn't have his sharpest command, Sale walked three, but there's no denying the result.

Under No. 2, that would be Denard Span and Kevin Kiermaier doing a pretty awful collective job there, allowing Nunez to use his wheels to get around the bases for the inside-the-park job.

The outings from Price and Sale marked the first time that the Red Sox's first two starters in a season posted consecutive scoreless efforts since Lefty Grove and Jim Bagby 1940, according to STATS LLC. In his first at-bat of the season, Nunez hit a ball that two Rays outfielders misplayed, and the race was on.

Nunez had an inside-the-park home run in the top of the second inning. "Even if it is 90 he's giving the whole 90". He was a part of three Red Sox postseasons in four years. Martinez has been trying to get his timing down after a delayed start to spring training, so it isn't worthwhile to fret over a slow start. It was Boston's first inside-the-park homer during the regular season since Blake Swihart had one on the road against the New York Mets on August 28, 2015. From there, Kelly walked the next two batters to load the bases. Bogaerts was doubled off of first base on a fly ball to right, and Mookie Betts was picked off first by the Rays catcher.

The Sox shortstop got off to a fast start at the plate.

Boston built a 4-0 lead against Rays starter Chris Archer, with Eduardo Nunez hitting a two-run, inside-the-park homer and Rafael Devers driving in two runs with a seventh-inning double and a RBI grounder in the second.

Porcello wasn't close to his 2016 dominance last season - he went 11-17 with a 4.65 ERA on the year, with the opposition batting.286 against him after hitting just.230 the previous season.

"I felt good, I'm trying to contribute", Bogaerts said.

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