Pregame Notes: The Red Sox have won five straight and will play Tampa Bay for the fifth time in seven games. … The Rays have lost five in a row since opening the season by beating the Sox. … David Price beat the Rays on March 30, throwing seven shutout innings. The former Tampa Bay ace is 4-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) against the Rays. … Rookie Yonny Chirinos pitched four scoreless innings of relief against the Sox on Sunday. He allowed one hit, walked one, hit two and struck out three. He is expected to go only three or four innings as it’s a “bullpen day” for the Rays. … J.D. Martinez has gone 20 at-bats without a home run, 67 since the start of spring training.
The Sox will open the gates at Fenway Park at 12:05 p.m. on Thursday for the home opener and asked fans to be in their seats at 1:15 p.m. for the ceremonies.
The players on both teams will be introduced before a unit from Hanscom Air Force Base presents the colors. R&B artist Ruth Pointer of the Pointer Sisters will perform the national anthem.
Four F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 134th Fighter Squadron of the Vermont Air National Guard are scheduled for a flyover.
Prior to the game, at 9 a.m., 44 Air Force recruits will have their swearing-in ceremony on the field.
Cora is excited for the home opener.
“My mom will be there, so that will be great. It’s going to be a special one,” he said. “And the way they played, it’s going to be great for the fans to see them finally after a great road trip . . . Thursday’s going to be very special.”
– Peter Abraham
Globe Sports4/5/2018 2:12:41 PM
Back at Fenway: Betts RF, Benintendi LF, Ramirez 1B, Martinez DH, Bogaerts SS, Devers 3B, Núñez 2B, Bradley Jr. CF, Vázquez C, and Price LHP.
One of Alex Cora’s mentors, Raul Rodriguez, will attend the game today. He owns Caguas, the Puerto Rican Winter League team Cora played for, managed and was GM of. Cora’s mom, two sisters and others here, too
Benintendi tries unsuccessfully to advance to second on a ball in the dirt. Red Sox run into their seventh out on the bases (not including caught stealings). No one else in the majors has more than four.
Price gets Cron to swing and miss over the top of a curveball. He couldn't throw that pitch for strikes - and didn't need to - in his first outing, but with Cron working a long (8-pitch) AB, he had another direction to turn.
Mookie Betts shows ridiculous range to get a pop-up down the line in shallow right. He plays as shallow as anyone in baseball in RF -- especially critical now given some of the range deficiencies of Ramirez and Nunez.
Two reasons why Mookie Betts may be the best rightfielder in the baseball. In the second he cuts off a sharply hit ball by Brad Miller for a single which could have got passed him for extra bases and then a nice running catch of a pop up in short right.
J.D. Martinez wondered whether Fenway would be good or bad for him since he hits a lot to center/right. His fly ball kept drifting over Kevin Kiermaier's head in center and tipped off his glove for a triple in his first AB at Fenway as a Red Sox.