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.
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.