Josh Beckett pitched eight solid innings today and the Boston Red Sox rebounded from a rough road trip by winning their eighth straight home opener, 12-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston won despite losing center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury because of an injured right shoulder. He was hurt trying to break up a double play in the fourth when Rays shortstop Reid Brignac landed on Ellsbury’s right arm.
Ellsbury, the runner-up in the voting for AL MVP last year, stayed on the ground while a trainer tended to him. Ellsbury walked off the field while keeping his right arm bent at the elbow, and there was no immediate report on the extent of his injury.
Bobby Valentine won his first home game as Boston’s manager, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz drove in three runs and Adrian Gonzalez and Kelly Shoppach had three hits. Boston broke away with an eight-run eighth.
The Red Sox began their 101st season at Fenway Park, and their winning streak in home openers is the longest current string in the majors. Boston entered the game with a 1-5 record that included a 10-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in which Beckett (1-1) allowed five homers.
But Beckett limited the Rays to five hits and one walk. He struck out just one, getting Carlos Pena in the eighth and extending his streak to 281 games with at least one strikeout since the start of his career. Only Dwight Gooden has a longer streak to begin his career, 349 games from 1984 to 1997.
Beckett improved to 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA in five home openers for them.
David Price (1-1) lasted just three innings for Tampa Bay and left after allowing three runs in the third. The Red Sox put the game away in the eighth when the first 10 batters reached base.