Boston, MA– There was a time last season when it seemed impossible for the Boston Red Sox to lose any series they played in during the 2018 MLB campaign. Those days just might be behind us, as the Red Sox opened the 2019 season by dropping six of seven series against teams from the AL and NL West divisions, as well as own AL East division. These losses include a recent sweep by the New York Yankees in two games. However, yesterday Boston finally rebounded to win their first series of the season – against the Tampa Bay Rays, of all teams.
The Rays, out of the gate, have been one of the best teams in all of baseball, with the highest winning percentage. Basically, the Rays' early 2019 season has been like what Boston had in 2018. As confusing as this Sox season has been already (and we're not even a month into it yet), of course it only makes sense that the Red Sox would win their first series against the stiffest competition they've played yet. Baseball is a fickle sport.
Now sitting at 8-13, Boston still has a ton of work to do, but hey, at least they're not in last place anymore.
After the Red Sox put on a home run derby in the first game against the Rays to win 6-4 in a come from behind fashion, the team again won in an unconventional manner in the series' second game. Boston jumped out to a big 5-0 lead in the second inning thanks to J.D. Martinez's score when Sandy Leon was hit by a pitch and Andrew Benintendi's big grand slam that scored, Leon, Xander Bogaerts, and Jackie Bradley, Jr.
Despite the strength of a solid Rick Porcello start, Tampa Bay slowly eroded Boston's lead and tied the game in the eighth inning. In the ninth, though, it was Benintendi again as he scored Bradley on a sacrifice fly after Bradley was moved into scoring position by a big double from rookie Michael Chavis.
It was almost a debilitating loss for Boston, but it finally ended when Christian Vazquez picked off Tommy Pham to give the Sox and Matt Barnes the win. To win narrow games against one of the league's early best teams is big, and Boston will hopefully build on the morale booster. Next they will head home for a four game series against the Detroit Tigers at home.