BOSTON (AP) — Hanley Ramirez blooped a bases-loaded fly ball over the drawn-in outfield in right to break a 12th-inning tie and the Boston Red Sox, who rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth, beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 to win their home opener at Fenway Park on Thursday.
It was the sixth straight victory for Boston and new manager Alex Cora, and the sixth loss in a row for the Rays. Tampa Bay topped the Red Sox on opening day last week, and the teams have gone in opposite directions since then.
Bobby Poyner (1-0) pitched two innings, striking out three for his first major league win. Andrew Kittredge (0-2) took the loss, throwing a pair of scoreless innings before running into trouble in the 12th.
Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a double, then took third on sacrifice bunt. Kittredge intentionally walked Mookie Betts and then, after he took second, walked Andrew Benintendi on to load the bases. With one out and the outfield in, Ramirez looped one to right off Ryan Yarbrough that one-hopped the wall to score the game-winner.
After David Price pitched seven shutout innings for the second straight outing, Carson Smith gave up Matt Duffy’s two-run homer in the eighth.
The Red Sox tied it off Tampa Bay closer Alex Colome. After Ramirez singled in one run to make it 2-1, J.D. Martinez grounded into a double play and then Xander Bogaerts doubled over the outstretched glove of left fielder Mallex Smith against the Green Monster to tie it.
Rafael Devers was intentionally walked, and Eduardo Nunez reached on an infield single to load the bases before Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a grounder toward second. Opting not to step on second for the force out, second baseman Daniel Robertson threw to first and beat Bradley by a split-second; after a challenge by Cora — with the crowd cheering the replays on the scoreboard — the call stood.
Price allowed three hits and three walks while striking out five. Red Sox starters are 4-0 with an 0.83 ERA so far this season.
Yonny Chirinos, making his first career start as the Rays used a “bullpen day” to fill in for a depleted rotation, pitched five scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out four. Three relievers pitched a scoreless inning apiece, turning a three-hit shutout over to Colome.
With a first-pitch temperature of 40 degrees and a wind blowing out to center at 18 mph, the weather threatened to be a factor early on when Martinez — in his first-ever Fenway at-bat — lofted a fly ball to center to lead off the second. Kevin Kiermaier first came in and then went back, but the ball went off his glove and rolled toward the wall.
Martinez was held up at third base — it was scored a triple — and then with nobody out he stayed there when Bogaerts dinked one to the right side of the infield for a groundout. Two more groundouts later, Chirinos was out of the inning.
The Red Sox introduced both teams on the baselines before the game in a brief ceremony that also featured a moment of silence for Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr, who was the oldest living major leaguer before he died in November. Doerr’s retired No. 1 on the right-field facade was encircled by a wreath of flowers.
Several local winter Olympians threw ceremonial first pitches, and gymnastics gold medalist Aly Raisman joined David Ortiz at the mound for the first “Play Ball!” of the season. Ortiz ripped off his Red Sox jersey to reveal a T-shirt saying “Girl Power,” and then asked Raisman to pose for a selfie with him.
Ruth Pointer, of The Pointer Sisters, sang the national anthem.
Cora said before the game he was still undecided about whether to activate Eduardo Rodriguez so he can start on Sunday in the series finale. The lefthander had right knee surgery in October.
Rays: The teams meet again on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. Righty Jake Faria (0-0) makes his second start of the season. He allowed one run on four hits in four innings against Boston on Sunday.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (1-0) makes his second start, having allowed one run on six hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Rays on Saturday.
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