BOSTON -- David Wells has been around long enough to know that the Boston fans weren't going to stand by him through too many more rough times.
"A bad performance, they probably would have booed me -- and rightfully so," he said Friday night after beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10-0, rebounding from two bad outings in his first start for the Red Sox at Fenway Park. "So that's a good start. The start of a good relationship -- I hope."
Pitching in a ballpark he once offered to blow up, Wells (1-2) scattered six hits over seven innings and struck out three for his first win since Sept. 18. That was six starts ago, with San Diego; he signed with the Red Sox in the offseason and allowed 10 runs on 19 hits in 10 2/3 innings over his first two games.
Wells didn't figure to snap out of it at Fenway, which has traditionally been unfriendly to lefties -- Wells among them. He had a 4.87 ERA and 10-10 record here as a visitor and he once said he hated the place so much he would push the button if they wanted to implode it.
"Coming to a new ballclub, a new city, the quicker these fans become endeared to him, the better," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "When that gate opens and he comes in, I want these people to be screaming for him, not at him."
David Ortiz hit a grand slam to cap a seven-run second inning against Hideo Nomo, who pitched a no-hitter for the Red Sox in 2001. Nomo (1-1) allowed eight runs on five hits and five walks in two innings and saw his ERA balloon from 1.50 to 10.12.
"He was all over the place with the ball. Very little command," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. "We tried to get him some more work after he gave up the runs, but it was obvious he wasn't going to go very long in the game."
Asked if he thought the 44-degree temperature might have hurt Nomo, Piniella said, "Maybe. What part of Japan is he from, the north of Japan or the south of Japan? Maybe the cold weather."
A day after a scuffle between New York Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield and a fan in the right-field stands at Fenway, the mood was decidedly lighter for the visiting Devil Rays.
Nomo escaped the first with just Johnny Damon's leadoff walk. But in the second, the Red Sox broke the game open with seven runs on Mark Bellhorn's two-run double, Manny Ramirez's bases-loaded walk and Ortiz's third career slam.
Edgar Renteria led off the third with a triple and scored on an error by catcher Toby Hall to make it 8-0. Jason Varitek singled to chase Nomo.
Tampa Bay C Tim Laker cleared waivers and was sent outright to Triple-A Durham. ... 2B Jorge Cantu's first-inning double extended his hitting streak to 10 games. ... Wells' No. 3 is the lowest number worn by a Red Sox pitcher since 1932. ... Bellhorn was 2-for-18 before his two-run double in the second. ... Ortiz snapped an 0-for-13 slump with his grand slam. Boston scored seven runs in the second, its most in an inning this year. ... Francona said he hadn't been contacted about his ejection Thursday night. "I actually think what I said was right," Francona said. "I just shouldn't have said it. I'm sure I'll write a check for that lack of restraint."