Boston at Tampa Bay


    Rays 7, Red Sox 3


    PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - In his first at-bat, Evan Longoria had no answer for Boston knuckleballer Tim Wakefield.

    "I mean, really, all I could do was laugh," the Tampa Bay slugger said. "He threw me three of the best ones I had seen from him."

    Wakefield's success didn't last.

    Longoria and Manny Ramirez hit consecutive home runs off the 44-year-old pitcher, and the Rays battered Wakefield in a 7-3 victory Friday night over a Red Sox split squad.

    Kelly Shoppach and Ben Zobrist also homered as the Rays built a 6-0 lead after three innings against Wakefield, who gave up seven hits.

    "The one that I hit was probably a pretty good pitch, too," Longoria said. "It's one of those at-bats where my approach is just swing hard because you can't have an approach against a pitch like that."

    Ramirez's third home run of the spring sailed out of the stadium and into the pond beyond the boardwalk in left field. By then, the Rays' lead was 6-0.

    It was Wakefield's worst outing in four turns and he placed the blame on poor mechanics.

    "I just couldn't prevent it," he said. "I knew what I was doing wrong and couldn't stop it."

    The game was a matchup of two starters who will begin the season in their respective bullpens. Tampa Bay right-hander Andy Sonnanstine dodged trouble for the first four innings before Boston got to him for three runs in the fifth. None of them came on a hit, however.

    Sonnanstine walked four and struck out four in 4 1-3 innings. He gave up three runs and four hits.

    Jose Lobaton's RBI single in the eighth for the Rays capped the scoring. Joel Peralta and Juan Cruz closed it out, combining for three scoreless innings as the four Tampa Bay pitchers combined to strike out 11 batters.

    With Boston's rotation being set on Thursday, Wakefield entered Friday knowing he was ticketed for the bullpen. He said he would be fine with any role.

    "Pitching's pitching," he said. "Doesn't matter if it's the middle of the game or starting a clean inning, doesn't matter to me. I don't think past tomorrow. Whenever I'm called upon to try and get outs, whether it's in relief or as a starter, I'll do my best when asked."

    Longoria said Boston was better with Wakefield than without him.

    "He's a kind of guy who can really throw a lineup off whenever you see him," Longoria said. "He's one of those guys that, if he's on and that knuckleball's really moving, it's tough to hit. A lot of times you've just got to laugh it off because you swing and the ball's just not there."

    Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
    CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Related Video

    Boston Red Sox
    Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4120000 .429
        Alex Hassan, RF1000011 .667
    Carl Crawford, LF2001200 .206
        Chih-Hsien Chiang, LF0000000 .000
    J.D. Drew, RF2011101 .207
        Jeremy Hazelbaker, PR-RF^CF1000000 .000
    Jed Lowrie, SS4000041 .200
        Ryan Dent, SS0000000 .000
    Daniel Nava, DH3000132 .200
    Yamaico Navarro, 3B3000100 .250
    Nate Spears, 2B3000112 .275
    Drew Sutton, 1B4120002 .308
    Mark Wagner, C3100022 .167
    RBI - Carl Crawford (4), J.D. Drew (4)
    Team LOB - 7
    Outfield Assists - Alex Hassan 1
    Boston Red Sox
    Tim Wakefield (L,0-1) 3766124 7.45
    Randy Williams 2000320 2.08
    Matt Albers 1100000 2.16
    Matt Fox 2411310 2.57
    WP - Matt Fox (1)
    Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 31-21, Randy Williams 22-10, Matt Albers 4-4, Matt Fox 25-12
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 2-4, Randy Williams 2-2, Matt Albers 1-2, Matt Fox 2-2
    Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 16, Randy Williams 9, Matt Albers 4, Matt Fox 12
    Tampa Bay Rays
    Ben Zobrist, 1B3122011 .296
        Sam Fuld, CF1100100 .185
    Johnny Damon, DH2000101 .290
       a- Jose Lobaton, PH-DH2011001 .294
    Evan Longoria, 3B3111013 .286
        Dan Johnson, 3B1010100 .194
    Manny Ramirez, LF3111001 .294
        Felipe Lopez, 2B2010002 .393
    Matt Joyce, RF2110100 .257
        Casey Kotchman, 1B2010004 .400
    B.J. Upton, CF3010001 .316
        Justin Ruggiano, RF1000001 .160
    Sean Rodriguez, 2B3000012 .370
        Chris Carter, LF0000100 .381
    Kelly Shoppach, C2122100 .286
        Ray Olmedo, SS1000013 .048
    Elliot Johnson, SS2100111 .250
        Craig Albernaz, C1000000 .000
    a-flied out for Damon in the 6th
    2B - Ben Zobrist (4, Wakefield), Matt Joyce (2, Wakefield)
    HR - Ben Zobrist (2, Wakefield), Evan Longoria (2, Wakefield), Manny Ramirez (3, Wakefield), Kelly Shoppach (2, Wakefield)
    RBI - Ben Zobrist 2 (5), Jose Lobaton (3), Evan Longoria (8), Manny Ramirez (8), Kelly Shoppach 2 (5)
    2-OUT RBI - Ben Zobrist 2 (5), Kelly Shoppach 2 (2)
    SB - Sam Fuld (3, 2nd base off Fox/M. Wagner), Justin Ruggiano (1, 2nd base off Fox/M. Wagner), Kelly Shoppach (1, 2nd base off Williams/M. Wagner), Elliot Johnson (7, 2nd base off Wakefield/M. Wagner)
    Team LOB - 10
    DP - S. Rodriguez-Johnson-Zobrist, Johnson-Zobrist
    Tampa Bay Rays
    Andy Sonnanstine (W,1-2) 4.1433440 8.16
    Kyle Farnsworth (H,2) 1.2100130 4.76
    Joel Peralta (H,2) 2000020 0.00
    Juan Cruz 1000120 0.00
    HBP - M. Wagner (by Andy Sonnanstine)
    WP - Kyle Farnsworth (1)
    Pitches-Strikes - Andy Sonnanstine 40-23, Kyle Farnsworth 16-12, Joel Peralta 10-10, Juan Cruz 11-7
    Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Sonnanstine 5-2, Kyle Farnsworth 1-1, Joel Peralta 2-2
    Batters Faced - Andy Sonnanstine 20, Kyle Farnsworth 7, Joel Peralta 6, Juan Cruz 4
    Game Information
    Attendance - 7740
    Game Time - 2:52
    Temperature - 83
    Umpires - Home - Darren Budahn, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Bill Welke