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Bradley Jr. leads Boston offense with 2 homers

MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Led by a two-homer, five-RBI barrage from Jackie Bradley Jr. and a strong pitching performance by Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox rolled to a 19-2 thumping of the Rays on Thursday afternoon at JetBlue Park.

"Put a good swing on some balls -- hit it hard. That's my only goal, and it happened to get in the air today," Bradley said. "I'm still getting there. Some timing things that I'm still working on. That's the name of the game for these next few weeks. Make sure the timing and everything is in sync."

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Led by a two-homer, five-RBI barrage from Jackie Bradley Jr. and a strong pitching performance by Eduardo Rodriguez, the Red Sox rolled to a 19-2 thumping of the Rays on Thursday afternoon at JetBlue Park.

"Put a good swing on some balls -- hit it hard. That's my only goal, and it happened to get in the air today," Bradley said. "I'm still getting there. Some timing things that I'm still working on. That's the name of the game for these next few weeks. Make sure the timing and everything is in sync."

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On a hot and muggy day, the Boston bats erupted early and often, scoring five in the first, three in the second and five in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez added to the fun with a three-run shot over the Green Monster just hours after it was announced he won't play in the World Baseball Classic due to nagging soreness in his right shoulder. Limited to DH so far in camp, Ramirez also had five RBIs.

Video: De Leon discusses his performance against Red Sox

 No. 3 Rays prospect Jose De Leon had a less-than-auspicious performance in his debut. The right-hander, who came to the Rays from the Dodgers in the Logan Forsythe trade, allowed four runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning while striking out one.

"I just couldn't locate my fastball," said De Leon, who threw 29 pitches, of which 16 were strikes. "That's the key to a pitcher, locating your fastball. I just couldn't do it today. The changeup was good, but it doesn't matter if you don't have that fastball command. … I just have to keep working on it. I know the sun will come out again tomorrow."

Closer Craig Kimbrel made his first appearance of the spring for the Red Sox, striking out one while retiring all three batters he faced. Rodriguez sparkled in his Grapefruit League debut, firing two perfect innings with two strikeouts. The performance took on added importance with the news earlier in the day that lefty David Price will be out indefinitely with soreness in his left forearm.

Rays Up Next: The Rays will host the Tigers on Friday afternoon in a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at Charlotte Sports Park that will air via an exclusive raysbaseball.com audio webcast. Ryan Yarbrough, who came over in the deal that sent Drew Smyly to the Mariners, will start for the Rays. Also scheduled to see work are Xavier Cedeno, Alex Colome, Jose Alvarado, Shawn Tolleson, David Carpenter, and Chih-Wei Hu.

Red Sox Up Next: Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello makes his first start of Spring Training on the road against the Braves on Friday in a game airing on Gameday Audio. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET. Lefty starter Brian Johnson will pitch in relief. Lefty Robby Scott, in competition for a roster spot, will get an inning. Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon are among the regulars who will be in manager John Farrell's lineup. Top prospects Rafael Devers and Sam Travis are also making the trip.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.