The second half of the 2012 Red Sox season began with mostly positive results. Jacoby Ellsbury was back in the starting lineup for the 1st time in three months, David Ortiz slammed a home run in his first at bat, Will Middlebrooks was back for the 1st time in two weeks, and Franklin Morales threw 5 shutout innings as the Red Sox topped the Rays 3-1 at Tropicana Field.

Though he went just 1-for-5 at the plate, Ellsbury (pictured) was a welcome sight at the top of the lineup and in centerfield, having spent the better part of the last three months on the disabled list with perhaps the most famous sublexed shoulder in Boston sports history.

David Ortiz hit his 401st career home run in the top of the 1st inning, his 23rd of the season. He was intentionally walked in two subsequent at bats.

Pedro Ciriaco had 3 base hits and a stolen base. He also drove in a pair of runs in the 2nd inning.

Still feeling the effects of the flu-like symptoms that pulled him out of Sunday's game after two innings, Adrian Gonzalez was a late scratch from the starting lineup. Mauro Gomez batted 4th and played first base.

Middlebrooks was pulled in the bottom of the 8th inning after going 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts; he was replaced by Nick Punto.

The win puts the Sox a game over .500 and they gained ground on everyone in the American League East with the exception of the Yankees.

Jim Monaghan 7/13/2012 10:39:00 PM Edit
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