After falling behind 0-2 in the top of the first, the Red Sox managed to even the score in the bottom half of the inning. But a failed sacrifice attempt scuttled a promising second inning, leaving the Sox locked in a 2-2 tie early on.
The runs off of Beckett came pretty much right off the bat. Desmond Jennings tested the returning starter’s ankle early with a quick bunt on the first pitch of the game. Beckett misfired on the throw to first, and Jennings quickly made his way to second base.
It wouldn’t end up mattering which base Jennings was on, however. Evan Longoria is not someone a starter can get away with throwing a flat curveball to, and when Beckett did just that, it produced predictable results. Longoria’s high fly ball made its way onto the ledge in front of the Monster seats, and after a short video review, the Rays were awarded the 2-0 lead on Longoria’s 28th homer of the year.
The Sox weren’t content to stay on bottom for long. Jacoby Ellsbury took James Shields’ fourth pitch of the game into the corner in left for a double, and with Dustin Pedroia drilling a 1-1 curveball just fair past the third base bag, the Sox were on the board. Adrian Gonzalez would strike out on a check swing, but David Ortiz proved up to the task of bringing the tying run in from second (after a wild pitch), just missing a home run as he planted a 3-0 pitch high off of the Green Monster.
After a quiet top half of the second, the Sox would earn another scoring opportunity off of James Shields, with Carl Crawford and Jason Varitek each drawing walks to start the frame. But disaster struck when Mike Aviles was called on to bunt. Evan Longoria quickly fielded the ball and fired to second to start a double play.