Hanley Ramirez exits with leg injury as Red Sox battle Rays

At 28 years old, Steven Wright had finally broken through and made it to the majors.

He was dominant with 12 strikeouts over seven innings for his first victory with Boston, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 on Saturday.

Wright (1-1) served up four homers and eight runs in just 1 1/3 innings last Wednesday against Baltimore.

Moreland, 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk on the day, stepped to the plate after Hanley Ramirez walked to load the bases with one out in the seventh.

A big part of the Red Sox' ability to continue to win is the early play of back-up outfielder Chris Young, who has replaced all three of Betts, Ramirez, and Bradley so far this season. "Today was certainly a positive step for him".

The loss dropped the Rays to 6-7, with the final game of the road trip Monday's 11:05 a.m. Patriots' Day game in Boston.

In each of Sale's three starts the Red Sox have done very little offensively, collecting only three total runs. (Then again, who wouldn't?) Monday's win improved them to 70-52 on the MA holiday and 12-5 in their last 17 Marathon Monday matinees.

Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth inning against the Rays on Monday for his sixth save of the season.

Wright's first stint in the majors wasn't a long one.

"Sale was very very hard, but I liked a lot of the at-bats", said Rays manager Kevin Cash, who also liked the work of his bullpen under hard circumstances.

Miller brought a pair home with his triple that Red Sox center fielder Andrew Benintendi lost in the sun.

"Wake was happy to be here this week (end), so I definitely was talking to him constantly over the last four or five days", Wright told reporters after the game, as aired on NESN.

Now he joins Martinez in 1998 as the only Red Sox pitchers since 1913 to pitch at least seven innings, give up no more than two runs and strike out at least seven batters in his first three games of a season.

The 32-year-old right-hander summed up the worst start of his career succinctly: "It was awful", Wright said.

Peterson, called up from Triple-A before the game, hooked a drive around the Pesky Pole in right, making it 2-0 in the second.

"I think so, yeah", Kimbrel said, agreeing with his manager's assessment. "I like that. I like going out there and being in those games". He also had a double and a single. Mookie betts would follow up with a single to extend Boston's lead to 4-2 in the inning. He had allowed five earned runs or more in three of his five prior starts.

Said Cash: "The next 1,000 chances he gets on a play just like that, he's going to convert". "Just couldn't get it done off (Robbie Ross Jr.) there with the bases loaded".

Boston won 3-2 that day and went on to win the World Series that year.

The Red Sox wore white home jerseys with "Boston" across the front instead of "Red Sox". Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez was placed on paternity leave after the birth of his son on Easter Sunday.

  • Julie Sanders