The 2018 Red Sox season got off to an inauspicious start in St. Petersburg. After Boston cruised through the first seven innings, the bullpen fell apart in the eighth as the Tampa Bay Rays rallied for six runs en route to a 6-4 win on Opening Day.
Carson Smith took the loss (0-1) after coming in for the beleaguered Joe Kelly, who made just one out in the eighth inning while being charged with four earned runs. Smith allowed two more runs, the first as part of a bases-clearing triple by Denard Span that put the Rays up 5-4. Tampa tacked on another run before closer Alex Colome shut the door for his first save of the season.
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was one of the other bright spots for the Sox, going 3-for-4 with two doubles. Second baseman Eduardo Nunez appeared to get all the offense the Red Sox would need on the afternoon when he hit a two-run inside-the-park home run in the second inning.
First homer of 2018, just the way you drew it up. ???? pic.twitter.com/8QawD06uwe— Red Sox (@RedSox) March 29, 2018
Red Sox lefty Chris Sale got off to a strong start in an unfortunate no-decision. He went six innings and allowed zero runs with one hit and three walks, striking out nine. Matt Barnes pitched a perfect seventh inning before giving way to Kelly.
Up Next: David Price makes his 2018 debut on Friday as he takes on the Rays’ Blake Snell.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.