Betts' historic slam propels Sox past Rays, 8-4

Betts' historic slam propels Sox past Rays, 8-4
August 29, 2014, 10:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Mookie Betts became the youngest Red Sox player in almost 50 years to hit a grand slam Friday night, powering the Red Sox to an 8-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.    

Betts, 21, hit his grand slam in the second inning as the Sox clobbered Tampa Bay starter Chris Archer for eight runs in the first two innings. In 1965, Tony Conigliaro, then 20, hit his first career grand slam.   

A sloppy first inning that saw the Rays commit two errors, helped the Sox get out to a 3-0 lead. Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Nava contributed run-scoring singles with another run scoring on a throwing error by second baseman Ben Zobrist.    

Cespedes added an RBI-double in the second before Betts cleaned the bases with a shot to left for his third homer of the season.    

Archer, who had a verbal feud with David Ortiz during the Red Sox' last trip here, was chased after just four innings, having thrown 98 pitches.    

Anthony Ranaudo, brought up to make his third spot start of the season, went six innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Brandon Guyer's two-run homer in the fifth was the biggest blow off him.   

Ranaudo, improved to 3-0.    

Craig Breslow and Burke Badenhop both contributed scoreless innings of relief before Edwin Mujica was nicked for a run in the ninth as the Red Sox won for the third time in four games so far on the current road trip.


STAR OF THE GAME: Mookie Betts
Betts smacked his first career grand slam in the second inning and in so doing became the youngest Red Sox player to hit a grand slam since Tony Conigliaro in 1965. He also had a single and contributed a fine defensive play in the fifth, racing back to make a leaping catch off Kevin Kiermaier.

For the third time in as many tries, Ranuado turned in a quality start for the Sox, allowing three runs on five hits over six innings. The one blemish: three walks issued.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Chris Archer
Archer wasn't helped by some sloppy play behind him -- though he made an error himself -- but there was no defense for allowing eight runs with two walks and a hit batsman all within the first two innings.

TURNING POINT: In the Red Sox four-run second, the Rays had a chance to turn an inning-ending double play. With Brock Holt on first, David Ortiz hit a grounder to Ben Zobrist at second. Zobrist tossed to shortstop Yunel Escobar, who had plenty of time to get Ortiz at first. But Escobar fired the ball into the Tampa dugout extending the inning and the Sox went on to score five runs after the error.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Sox are 6-1 in their last seven road games.