Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays win first of season at Fenway

BOSTON — Jose Molina provided the entertainment by racing home with the go-ahead run. Wil Myers produced some history with his first extra-base hit and RBIs.

But the most important development in Wednesday's 6-2 victory over the Red Sox — beyond the win itself, as rare as they've been for the Rays vs. Boston — was the performance of Jeremy Hellickson.

The inconsistent right-hander did his job quite well for six innings. Then manager Joe Maddon took him out before he could do anything wrong.

Having seen Hellickson blow several games with seemingly comfortable leads, and allow eight runs in a single frame in his last start, Maddon decided the six innings and 88 pitches — most of which were crisp and well-commanded — were enough, then used four relievers, including closer Fernando Rodney, to make sure Hellickson got his fifth win.

"That was part of it, absolutely," Maddon said. "That's how you deal with development on the minor-league level, too. You look for those moments where when that guy leaves the field he could only feel good about himself."

Hellickson, who scattered seven hits and posted his team record-tying fourth straight start (and 251/3 innings) without a walk, had no complaints.

"It was nice to actually finish a game on a good note," he said.

The Rays (37-35) felt good all around as they had lost their first five games this season in Boston, scoring five runs total with no more than two in any one, and nine of the first 11 overall to the first-place Red Sox (44-30), who haven't beaten them in a season series since 2007.

"We have to get back even with these guys or close to even," Maddon said. "They've had their way with us."

The Rays scored two in the first, including Desmond Jennings' ninth homer, then the Sox evened it, ex-Ray Jonny Gomes twice hitting shots too hot for third baseman Evan Longoria to handle to knock in runs.

That's where Molina's speed came in. On second after a single and a walk, the typically slow-moving catcher took off on Ben Zobrist's two-out single and raced — well, ran hard — home, sliding in ahead of the toss from weak-armed centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.

"I just said that as soon as he hit the ball I've got to try to score, pretty much that's the way it was," Molina said. "I took my lead really good and gave everything I had — I guess it's not that much — but I give everything and to try to slide and avoid the tag and I did, and scored a big run for us. … I think I did one of those Matrix moves and he didn't tag me."

Said Maddon: "As he went by, the vortex almost like pulled me into his jet stream as he was running toward home plate, and eventually he was safe. I jumped out of the dugout, everything slowed down, slow motion, and the umpire went, 'Safe.' So it was a good play."

Myers, the prized prospect who debuted Tuesday, showed some of his five-tool skills in the seventh, lacing a ball to center and hustling to second for a two-run double. "He's on the right path," Maddon said.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Rays win first of season at Fenway 06/19/13 [Last modified: Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:55am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Steven Souza Jr. snaps out of slump as Rays defeat Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After Tuesday's shutout loss to the Angels, Steven Souza Jr. stood in front of his locker and talked about his need to contribute to the offense.

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre (45) hugs right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) in the dugout after his two run home run in the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
  2. Tom Jones: Rays made right move sending Blake Snell to minors

    The Heater

    tom jones' two cents


    Blake Snell’s struggles on the mound were only one of the reasons the Rays sent him to the minors; some other red flags existed. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Ryne Stanek has had his early struggles, but Wednesday he showed his high-octane potential, working around a one-out walk to strike out the mighty Mike Trout (on a 98.4 mph fastball) and legendary Albert Pujols (98.7), both swinging.

  4. Rays journal: More bullpen changes as Diego Moreno heads to DL

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays bullpen has another new look.

    Rays reliever Diego Moreno, pitching Sunday against the Yankees, heads the DL with shoulder bursitis.
  5. ACC baseball tournament: FSU beats Notre Dame on 12th-inning HR


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jackson Lueck hit his second two-run home run of the game in the 12th inning, lifting Florida State past Notre Dame 5-3 on Wednesday at a rainy ACC baseball tournament.

    Florida State outfielder Jackson Lueck (2) connects for a game-winning home run in the 12th inning during game 4 of the 2017 ACC Baseball Tournament in Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, May 24, 2017. (Wade Payne/ via AP)