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Ellsbury's HR backs Lester as BoSox win Game 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- Three hits was plenty of offense for the Red Sox.

Boston pitchers made sure of that, and the Red Sox opened a split doubleheader with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday.

Jon Lester struck out eight in seven innings, and Jacoby Ellsbury hit a three-run homer in the third to end Boston's losing streak at two.

Lester (12-6) got the win against fellow All-Star James Shields, who also pitched well and went deeper into the game but received little offensive support.

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"Going into it you know it's going to be a tight game. He's not going to make a lot of mistakes," Lester said. "Fortunately, when he did make mistakes in that one inning we took advantage of it. That's what you have to do against a good pitcher."

Shields (11-10) retired the last 15 batters he faced and struck out six. The only hits he allowed were singles by Josh Reddick and Mike Aviles that were followed by Ellsbury's homer deep into the right-field stands. It was Ellsbury's 21st home run of the season -- one more than he hit in his first three years combined.

"They hit the home run. We did not and that's why they won the game," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Lester and the Boston bullpen made the lead hold up in a game that had just six hits overall.

Daniel Bard pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Jonathan Papelbon earned his 28th save when Dustin Pedroia made a diving grab on B.J. Upton's line drive headed for center field.

Lester pitched seven innings, holding the Rays to three hits and no runs after Desmond Jennings scored on a fielder's choice in the first inning.

Lester retired 12 straight before Evan Longoria's single to left with one out in the sixth. The hit hardly disrupted Lester, who struck out Ben Zobrist and Upton to end the inning.

Shields was almost as dominant, striking out six and allowing just one baserunner after Ellsbury's home run.

"It's a tough loss," Shields said. "You don't give up a hit in seven different innings, you've got to win those games. Today we got outplayed."

The game was a makeup from a rainout on April 13.

Notes

  • Former Boston outfielder Johnny Damon received a mix of cheers and boos when he pinch hit for Elliot Johnson in the eighth. He struck out swinging.
  • Boston DH David Ortiz was a late scratch from the first-game lineup because of bursitis in his right heel.
  • Red Sox RHP John Lackey, who is on a six-decision winning streak and is 11-8 despite a 6.13 ERA, faces LHP David Price (10-10, 3.76 ERA) in Wednesday's matinee series finale.
  • Entering Tuesday's doubleheader, Lackey was tied with Lester for the staff lead in wins.
  • Tuesday's opener was the first game between the teams since the Red Sox beat the Rays 1-0 in 16 innings on July 17 in St. Petersburg.
  • The Red Sox, just off a six-game trip to Minnesota and Seattle, are home for just the three games with Tampa Bay. They will then head out on an eight-game trip to Kansas City and Texas.
 
Copyright 2015 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.
 
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Jacoby Ellsbury's three-run homer is all the offense the Red Sox need in the first game of a doubleheader against the Rays. (AP)
Jacoby Ellsbury's three-run homer is all the offense the Red Sox need in the first game of a doubleheader against the Rays. (AP)

Players of the Game
Boston

J. Ellsbury
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
Boston

J. Lester
IP 7.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 1
K 8
 

Related Video

Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, LF-RF4110022 .333
Sam Fuld, RF4000011 .240
Evan Longoria, 3B4011000 .233
Ben Zobrist, DH-2B4010021 .277
B.J. Upton, CF4000022 .223
Casey Kotchman, 1B3000010 .332
Sean Rodriguez, 2B-SS2000010 .211
Kelly Shoppach, C2000100 .181
Elliot Johnson, SS2000002 .179
   a- Johnny Damon, PH-LF1000010 .260
Totals30131110  
a-struck out for Johnson in the 8th
Batting
2B - Desmond Jennings (6, Lester), Ben Zobrist (38, Lester)
RBI - Evan Longoria (66)
SB - Desmond Jennings (9, 3rd base off Lester/Saltalamacchia), Sean Rodriguez (10, 3rd base off Lester/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 4
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
James Shields (L,11-10) 8333161 2.83
Pitches-Strikes - James Shields 114-80
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - James Shields 6-12
Batters Faced - James Shields 28
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4113010 .313
Dustin Pedroia, 2B3000010 .308
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B3000010 .350
Kevin Youkilis, 3B2000100 .266
Carl Crawford, LF3000011 .253
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C3000001 .250
Josh Reddick, RF3110001 .314
Jed Lowrie, DH3000011 .260
Mike Aviles, SS3110010 .239
Totals2733316  
Batting
HR - Jacoby Ellsbury (21, Shields)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury 3 (77)
Team LOB - 1
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jon Lester (W,12-6) 7311180 3.22
Daniel Bard (H,28) 1000020 2.21
Jonathan Papelbon (S,28) 1000000 3.02
HBP - S. Rodriguez (by Jon Lester)
Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 113-65, Daniel Bard 12-9, Jonathan Papelbon 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 9-4, Daniel Bard 1-0, Jonathan Papelbon 1-2
Batters Faced - Jon Lester 26, Daniel Bard 3, Jonathan Papelbon 3
Game Information
Attendance - 38525
Game Time - 2:24
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Chris Conroy, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Brian Knight