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


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

By SeanMcAdam

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

"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 Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.