Rays Rally Late To Take Opening Day From Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- The Tampa Bay Rays managed just one hit off Boston starter Chris Sale, but scored six times in the bottom of th eighth inning to turn a 4-0 deficit into a 6-4 win over the Red Sox on Opening Day Thursday at Tropicana Field.

Boston jumped out on Rays starter Chris Archer in the second inning.  The right-hander walked J.D. Martinez to start the inning and Xander Bogaerts doubled him to third base.  Rafael Dever made it 1-0 with an RBI groundout before Nunez lifted a fly ball into the left-centerfield gap.  Span slid for the ball and missed, taking out center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and allowing the ball to roll to the wall and Nunez to sprint around the bases.

The game remained 3-0 until the seventh, when Archer allowed back-to-back doubles to Bogaerts and Devers to end the Tampa Bay starter's afternoon.

Tampa Bay's lone hit off Sale came in the second inning, when Adeiny Hechavarria singled off Sale after Denard Span walked.   The two runners moved up on a passed ball, but Daniel Robertson struck out to end the rally.

The Rays finally got on the board in the eighth inning, as Daniel Robertson walked and scored two batters later on Matt Duffy's RBI double.  Kiermaier and Carlos Gomez each walked and a free pass to Brad Miller made it 4-2.  Wilson Ramos struck out for the second out, but Span tripled into the right field corner to clear the bases and give Tampa Bay the lead.

Hechavarria gave Tampa Bay some breathing room when his infield single scored Span to make it a 6-4 advantage.

Austin Pruitt (1-0) picked up the win with two innings of shutout relief, and Alex Colome notched his first save of 2018 with a scoreless ninth.

Tampa Bay will look to make it two wins in a row Friday evening, when Blake Snell (5-7, 4.04 ERA in 2017) takes on David Price(6-3, 3.38 ERA in 2017).  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Crown Eurocars.

NOTES: The Rays sold out their home opener for the 13th consecutive season with announced attendance of 31,042.

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