BOSTON — Hanley Ramirez found a way to warm the hearts of Red Sox fans on a frigid Opening Day at Fenway Park.
With shadows covering the field, dropping temperatures into the upper 30s, the Red Sox red-hot first baseman singled home Jackie Bradley Jr. with the winning run to lift the Red Sox to a 3-2 win in 12 innings at Fenway Park Thursday. It was his second extra-inning game-winning hit in as many games. It was the eighth walkoff Opening Day win for the Red Sox in the 107 years of Fenway Park.
Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled to right-center to open the 12th. Christian Vazquez bunted him to third and Mookie Betts was intentionally walked. Lefty Ryan Yarbrough came on to face left-handed hitting Andrew Benintendi with one out. Benintendi walked before Ramirez drove the first pitch to the right field track for the game winner. The Red Sox have won six straight and stand 6-1. The Rays have lost six straight since beating the Red Sox on Opening Day in St. Petersburg and are 1-6.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 5, 2018
David Price was has not allowed a single run in 14 innings this season. Unfortunately, in those two starts against the Rays, he has received exactly one run of support.
Last Friday in a 1-0 win over the Rays, it was just enough. Thursday, in the 107th home opener at Fenway Park, he and the Sox were not as lucky.
Matt Duffy blasted a two-run homer off reliever Carson Smith in the eighth inning to snap a scoreless tie and give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead before a sellout of 36,134 at Fenway.
And this is how ❌got it done. ? pic.twitter.com/dRRyvRsbwi
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 5, 2018
Price was masterful on a bitterly cold day with a wind chill of 31 degrees. The lefty allowed just three hits and three walks while striking out five over seven scoreless innings.
But Yonny Chirinos was just as good. The Rays righty allowed three hits and walked none in five innings.
One of the stars of the first seven scoreless innings was Jackie Bradley Jr. He made all three outs in the fourth inning, fighting the bright sun and 18 MPH wind gusts to catch three fly balls.
Facing closer Alex Colome in the ninth, the Red Sox rallied. Mookie Betts singled to left to open the inning. Andrew Benintendi worked a walk on a 3-2 pitch. Hanley Ramirez looped a single to center to cut the two-run deficit in half, scoring Betts.
Martinez, who lined out to left in the seventh, hit into a double play on which Brad Miller made a spectacular scoop at first for the second out.
That left it up to Xander Bogaerts, with Benintendi on third. Bogaerts drilled a 1-1 pitch from Colome to the wall in left. Refsnyder leaped but couldn’t corral it and Benintendi scored.
After an intention walk to Rafael Devers, Eduardo Nunez lined a grounder off Matt Duffy’s glove at third but it was deflected to short for an infield single, holding Bogaerts at third. Jackie Bradley Jr. then grounded a ball up the middle. Instead of stepping on second for the force-out, Daniel Robertson decided to throw across his body and Miller made another great scoop at first.
Bradley was called out by first base umpire Alan Porter but the call was so close that Alex Cora almost immediately challenged. The crowd went into celebration after the center field scoreboard showed the replay. But after a 100-second review from New York, the out call was upheld and the game went to extras.
The Rays loaded the bases with two outs against closer Craig Kimbrel in the 10th but C.J. Kron struck out to send the game tied to the bottom of the inning.
J.D. Martinez singled to center with one out in the 11th off reliever Andrew Kittridge and was replaced by pinch-runner Blake Swihart. Following a passed ball allowing Swihart to reach second, Rafael Devers was intentionally walked with two outs. But Eduardo Nunez followed with a grounder to third and Swihart was tagged out to send the game to the 12th.
Rookie lefty Bobby Poyner worked two scoreless innings, striking out Kevin Kiermaier to strand Joey Wendle at third after Wendle singled to right to open the 12th.