Yunel Escobar, Ryan Roberts power Rays over Red Sox
Port Charlotte, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Cesar Ramos pitched two scoreless frames while Yunel Escobar and Ryan Roberts hit two-run doubles as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox, 6-3, in Monday’s Grapefruit League game at Charlotte Sports Park.
Ben Zobrist and Jose Lobaton also contributed RBI singles while seven of nine starters either scored or drove in a run for the Rays, who stormed to their third pre-season win in four games
Jamey Wright struck out two in a perfect third inning while Ramos retired all the six batters in the fourth and fifth innings to earn his first pre-season victory as the Rays survived a rocky start by Alex Cobb.
Cobb gave up two runs in the opening inning, including a homer to Dustin Pedroia that gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead.
Red Sox starter Alfredo Aceves had his share of early struggles, walking Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce before surrendering a two-run double to Escobar that gave the Rays a 2-1 lead.
The Red Sox tied the game at two after Mike Carp hit an RBI double against Cobb in the top part of the second frame.
After a scoreless third for both teams, Roberts hammered a two-run double and Zobrist added an RBI single against Chris Hernandez in a three-run fourth inning that put Tampa Bay ahead, 5-2.
Lobaton completed the scoring for the Rays with an RBI single in the seventh while no Tampa Bay reliever allowed a hit until Boston managed a run on two hits against Neil Schenk in the eighth.
“Obviously the results weren’t great, but this time of year I’m looking to feel good, and I did,” Cobb said after the game.
“The home run isn’t very good, and the RBI double wasn’t very good, but I got a lot of ground balls, which is what I’m looking for,” he added.