Recap Boston at Tampa Bay
St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Mookie Betts hit his first career grand slam to fuel an early burst of offense which sent Boston past Tampa Bay, 8-4, in the opener of a four-game series.
Yoenis Cespedes added two hits, two runs scored and two RBI, while Daniel Nava contributed three hits and drove in a run for the Red Sox, who have taken three of four since dropping eight straight.
Recalled from Triple-A prior to the contest, Anthony Ranaudo (3-0) allowed three runs on five hits with four strikeouts and three walks over his six- inning start.
Brandon Guyer hit a two-run homer and knocked in three for the Rays, who have lost four of their last five. Kevin Kiermaier added a pair of hits, scored once and added an RBI in defeat.
Chris Archer (8-7) was torched for eight runs and 10 hits over four full frames.
"This game has a funny way of humbling you, and tonight was a very humbling experience. I'm disappointed in myself," said Archer.
Boston picked up three runs in the first. Brock Holt singled, Dustin Pedroia walked and two batters later Cespedes brought in Holt. Nava added a two-out single, while Cespedes went to third and Nava to second on Archer's error which allowed Betts to reach first, then Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist muffed an easy Will Middlebrooks grounder that allowed Cespedes to score.
It was 8-0 in the second. David Ortiz reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a Cespedes double. Mike Napoli walked, Nava was plunked and Betts connected for his first career grand slam.
"I knew I had the ability to do it. I don't think anybody else believed in me, but I believed in myself," said Betts of his rare power surge.
Kiermaier singled home Yunel Escobar to put the Rays on the board in the home second, then Ryan Hanigan walked to begin the bottom of the fifth and came in on Guyer's two-run homer.
Tampa Bay didn't answer again until the ninth, as Kiermaier doubled and scored on Guyer's base hit.