Red Sox crushed by Rays in series opener, 16-5

191542.jpg

Red Sox crushed by Rays in series opener, 16-5

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- Just when it seemed like the Red Sox had turned the corner on their poor start, they reversed field again Monday night and suffered their most lopsided loss of the season -- to the only team who entered the night with a worse record than their own.

The Tampa Bay Rays chased starter Daisuke Matsuzaka with seven runs in the first two innings, and kept adding on against reliever Tim Wakefield, posting a 16-5 victory over the Red Sox.

The defeat dropped the Sox to 2-8, equal with the Rays in the American League East standings.

The 16 runs for Tampa were more than they had scored in all of their nine losses (11) cobined this season. Tampa bashed out 20 hits as five different Rays collected multiple RBIs. Sam Fuld had a career-high four hits, falling a single short of the cycle.

David Ortiz knocked in two runs with a single and sacrfice fly. Adrian Gonzalez (triple), J.D. Drew (single) and Jacoby Ellsbury (solo homer) each accounted for an RBI.

Matsuzaka, 0-2, sports a 12.86 ERA for the season. The Red Sox have just two quality starts in the first 10 games.

STAR OF THE GAME: Sam Fuld
The Cubs castoff banged out a homer, triple and two doubles while knocking in three runs.

Fuld, a New Hampshire native, is one of several players the Rays are looking at to help them replace Carl Crawford in the outfield.

So far this season, Fuld is hitting .324 and has turned in a handful of standout defensive plays, including one last night to rob Dustin Pedroia of a run-scoring double in the third.

HONORABLE MENTION: Johnny Damon
Damon, who did not appear in a game at Fenway last season while with Detroit, returned this season with a vengeance, homering on the first pitch he saw in the top of the first and later adding two more hits and two more RBI.

Prior to his first at-bat, he was greeted with a mixed reception, though a more favorable one than he got as a member of the Yankees. After homering, though, the boos quickly outnumbered the cheers.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Matsuzaka turned in his second stinker in as many starts this season, blasted for seven runs on eight hits in just two-plus innings.

So far, Matsuzaka's ERA stands at 12.86. With Tim Wakefield, Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront waiting in the wings, he can't afford many more starts like that if he wishes to keep his spot in the Boston rotation.

TURNING POINT
Fuld's three-run homer in the second upped the Tampa lead to 7-0 before an out could be recorded in that inning.

BY THE NUMBERS
The Rays managed to score more runs in the first six innings (12) than they had managed to score in their previous nine eight losses combined (11) this season.

QUOTE OF NOTE
"Managers like to see a lot of strikes, but tonight, (Matsuzaka) threw a lot right down the middle of the plate and they squared up a lot of balls in a hurry.'' -- Terry Francona on Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

Porcello loses 10th game as Red Sox fall to Twins, 4-1

BOSTON -- Twins rookie lefty Adalberto Mejia is feeling more comfortable each time he takes the mound.

Mejia pitched 5 2/3 innings in his second straight scoreless start, Max Kepler hit a two-run homer and Minnesota rebounded from two consecutive losses against Boston to beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.

"He did a nice job," Twins manager Paul Molitor said about Mejia. "He had to kind of battle. It's kind of becoming a little bit of his MO to burn through pitches, but similarly to his last start, he kept walking off the field with zeros."

Kepler also had an RBI single, and Miguel Sano added an RBI double to help the Twins improve to 24-11 on the road.

Mejia (3-3) allowed five hits, struck out three and walked one in his 11th career start. On Friday night at Cleveland, he held the Indians to two hits over five innings in a victory.

"I feel calmer every time I'm out there," he said through a translator. "I think that's why I did better."

Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 21st save.

Boston starter Rick Porcello (4-10) gave up four runs on six hits in six innings, striking out six and walking two. It was his 14th straight start going at least six innings, the AL's longest active streak.

"It's not like they're beating the cover off the ball," Porcello said. "It's just a couple things here and there that I've got to clean up. I'm not making excuses for myself. I definitely hold myself accountable for the loss tonight."

Red Sox manager John Farrell was back in the dugout after serving a one-game suspension Tuesday for poking umpire Bill Miller in the chest during an argument Saturday.

The Red Sox stranded 11 baserunners, and at least one in every inning. Farrell thought his team may have been pressing a bit.

"I thought there were times we might have expanded the strike zone a little bit, trying to make something happen," he said.

With Minnesota leading 2-0 in the sixth, Kepler lined his homer off the back of Boston's bullpen.

In the first, the Twins scored a pair of two-out runs when Sano hit his RBI double down the third-base line and scored on Kepler's broken-bat single.

Xander Bogaerts drove in Boston's run with a bases-loaded grounder in the seventh.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: LHP Glen Perkins resumed throwing Tuesday after a setback last week following offseason shoulder surgery. Molitor said the club is still formulating a plan for him. He's been sidelined all season and pitched in just two games last year.

Red Sox: DH Hanley Ramirez missed his third straight game after getting hit by a pitch on the left knee Sunday. "He'll go through a full workday today," Farrell said. "He's feeling improved."

MATCHES OWN RECORD

Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia played his 98th consecutive error-less game, matching the best mark in club history he set for a second baseman from 2009-10.

LOOKS FAMILIAR

This season has started like 2015 for Porcello, the AL's reigning Cy Young Award winner.

Two years ago when he struggled badly, the righty lost nine of his initial 13 decisions and finished 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA.

ROSTER MOVE

Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes was activated from the 10-day disabled list and LHP Craig Breslow was put on with rib cage soreness.

Hughes had been on the DL since complaining of a "dead feeling" in his pitching shoulder on May 21. He allowed one run in three innings during three rehabilitation appearances in Triple-A.

Molitor plans to use him out of the bullpen.

UP NEXT

Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (4-5, 6.23 ERA) looks to continue his success in Fenway Park in the series finale Thursday. He's allowed only one run over 15 innings in two career starts.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (2-2, 4.76) has won his last five decisions against Minnesota, posting a 1.84 ERA.