Four Real? Red Sox vs Rays Game 1 6-18-13

                    Pete Lepak
    Staff Writer
Game 72
Tonight is a big day for me as a fan. Well, I must admit, it has nothing to do with the Red Sox. Yes I will watch and listen to the games, but tonight, USA Men's Soccer plays Honduras. If USA wins, they will have a very good chance on qualifying for the World Cup. Can you imagine the pride the Men's Team must have to represent their country? What a feeling it must be to walk out of the tunnel, wearing your USA jersey, signing the National Anthem while thousands of Hondurans want you dead. I wonder what it must feel like to be a Boston Red Sox player. Do you think they feel the same amount of pride representing their City (Or, as Big Papi would say, "Cee-Tee.") This year's team seems to have pride. Just watching Koji Uehara, you know he loves being a Red Sox player. Shane Victorino, Johnny Gomes, Dustin Pedroia.... all these men represent their city well and care about the name on the front of their jersey, not on the back. So when today's game started, and the rain came down, which players sat by their lockers during the 3 hour rain delay and could not wait to get back out there? I am sure it's the guys you suspect. Anyways, when the rain cleared, and the game resumed, Boston won game one 5-1. Here are the four at bats that changed the game:

1) Wild Thing. Alfredo Aceves started this afternoon's game and pitched well, but in the second inning, things almost unraveled for him. After issuing three walks sandwiched by a Luke Scott double to score a run, Aceves had the bases loaded and Yunel Escobar at bat. Aceves threw all fastballs to Escobar, and he finally bit on the fourth pitch, rolling a ball over to short and creating a double play for Boston. Aceves gets out of a jam he created. 1-1 tie.

2) Gettin it Done. The top third of the lineup has been playing well for Boston, and it looks great when they all get rolling around the same time. In the bottom of the third inning, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino singled. Victorino then stole second to put both men in scoring position. David Ortiz then popped a 0-1 fastball into center field to plate both men and the Red Sox take the 3-1 lead.

3) Back to back speed. Bottom of the sixth inning, and with two outs, Ellsbury does what he does best, tripling to right field. Victorino wanted in on the speedy fun, so he then cracks a ball into right field as well, tripling home Ellsbury. This was the first time the Red Sox have had back-to-back triples since 1988, and the team is excited to pick up a two out RBI. 4-1 Sox.

4) Koji Klutch. With the game still within reach, Tampa Bay tries to make a come back off of reliever Koji Uehara. Matt Joyce leads off with a deep double to left, and Ben Zobrist walks. With only one out and runners at the corners, Koji must register outs. Evan Longoria pops up to first base to get the second out, but James Loney won't go down without a fight. Loney fouls off eight splitters and fastballs, waiting for his pitch. On the ninth pitch, Uehara throws a breaking ball that drops as it reaches the plate, and Loney strikes out. Huge out for Koji, and it keeps Boston happy with a 5-1 lead.

Boston would end up winning 5-1, and Tampa Bay would not threaten in the ninth. The Sox bullpen pitched four scoreless this afternoon, and the Red Sox have now taken 8 out of 10 games from the Rays this year. Boston plays again at 8:10pm TONIGHT, so turn on NESN and enjoy. Felix Doubront faces Jake Odorizzi as the Red Sox look to win two in one day.
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