Rapid Reaction: Red Sox 8, Rays 4
August, 29, 2014
By Gordon Edes | ESPNBoston.com
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Markus Lynn Betts, say hello to Anthony Richard Conigliaro.
Friday night, the 21-year-old Mookie became the youngest player since the 20-year-old Tony C. to hit a grand slam, 49 years after Conigliaro did so at Fenway Park on Aug. 24, 1965.
Conigliaro hit his slam in the first inning off Washington Senators right-hander Buster Narum in support of a rookie named Jim Lonborg.
Betts hit his slam in Tropicana Field off Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Chris Archer in support of a rookie named Anthony Ranaudo in Boston’s 8-3 win over the Rays.
The home run was the third of the season and second this week for Betts, who has started the last 10 games in center field since his recall from Pawtucket. Betts’ third callup this season coincided with the demotion of Jackie Bradley Jr., who played superb defense but hit little while he was here.
Ranaudo rolls: The 6-foot-7 Ranaudo is now unbeaten in 12 decisions, including three starts with the Red Sox, after he held the Rays to three runs on five hits and three walks in six innings. Ranaudo gave up a two-run home run to Brandon Guyer in the fifth. Guyer was a last-minute replacement for Desmond Jennings, who scratched with a sore left knee.
Imitation Devil Rays: Tampa Bay, which committed only 59 errors last season, second lowest total in big-league history, made two errors in the first two innings. The Rays have erred in six straight games.
No extracurriculars: This was the first time the Sox had faced Archer since he took exception to David Ortiz's bat flip after giving up a home run on July 27. He chimed in with former teammate David Price in saying Ortiz acted like he was “bigger than the game.’’ Ortiz tartly responded by saying Archer had been in the league “only two days” and had no business saying anything.
No one popped off Friday, although Ortiz just missed a home run in the third, lining a ball off the top of the right-field fence. Archer, however, lasted just four innings and was charged with seven earned runs. Betts’ home run was the first given up by Archer in 32 2/3 innings since the Ortiz start.
The Rays made no protest even when Daniel Nava stole second base with a five-run lead in the seventh. When Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar did the same here in late May, benches cleared and Jonny Gomes shoved him.