8 key moments from Friday's Rays-Red Sox ALDS Game 1
Rain didn't delay Friday's Game 1 of the ALDS between the Rays and Red Sox, but it did cause both teams to forego a formal batting practice before the game. How did that affect both squads? Were the hitters any less focused than usual? Did Shane Victorino put on this outfit willingly?
Let's go to the GIFs:
After striking out the side in the first inning, Sox pitcher Jon Lester returned in the second with much of the same stuff -- ringing up Evan Longoria and forcing a popout from Delmon Young.
Left fielder Sean Rodriguez, however, worked himself into a 2-2 count, after which Lester tossed this borderline pitch -- one which the umpire called a ball:
Lester disagreed with the call and the distraction might have had an effect on the next pitch:
Yeah, Rodriguez took it deep. He followed that by taking a hit away from Sox left fielder Johnny Gomes in the bottom of the inning:
Second baseman Ben Zobrist extended the Rays' lead to 2-0 with this shot into the Green Monster seats:
And his wife was very happy:
In the bottom of the fourth, the momentum started to shift. Red Sox DH David Ortiz hit a fly ball to right field and rookie Wil Myers settled underneath it to record the out -- but instead of catching the ball, Myers pulled away as though someone called him off it:
The weird miscommunication opened the floodgates for Boston and Jonny Gomes smacked a two-run double off the wall to tie the game:
Then, continuing the odd inning, shortstop Stephen Drew reached on an infield single in what might be one of the closest plays at first you'll ever see -- bringing in the go-ahead run for Boston:
The runs and hits kept coming for the Red Sox, with Will Middlebrooks hitting his own RBI wallball, Jacoby Ellsbury reaching on a passed ball and Shane Victorino plating a run on a sharply hit single:
The big fourth inning ended on a Dustin Pedroia groundout, but when all was said and done, the Sox were leading 5-2.
Lester followed the offensive burst with a timely performance of his own, shutting down the Rays offense on 11 pitches in the top of the fifth.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Red Sox picked right up where they left off -- scoring three more runs on hits from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ellsbury. The score was 8-2, and the fans were dancing and #FANtasking in Boston: