Rays-Red Sox: Josh Beckett Smokes Tampa Bay in Victory

Ryan Gaydos@@RyanGaydosSenior Analyst IApril 8, 2009

BOSTON - APRIL 7: Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett #19 throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during an opening day game at Fenway Park April 7, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rays 3
Red Sox 5

W: J. Beckett (1-0)
L: J. Shields (0-1)
S: J. Papelbon (1)

The home opener for the Boston Red Sox against the Tampa Bay Rays was rained out yesterday, so they were forced to play the first game of the season today.

The Red Sox threw Josh Beckett out on the mound, while Joe Maddon and the defending American League champions Tampa Bay Rays were represented by the phenom James Shields.

But I might be overexaggerating in my description of pitcher Shields, for his performance was not a great one.

Shields threw five and one-third innings. He let in all of the five runs the Red Sox scored.

The first came off a Dustin Pedroia home run. He also let up a homer to the Red Sox captain Jason Varitek. Shields threw two strikeouts, but walked three batters as well. He was accredited with the loss.

His counterpart, Josh Beckett, threw seven strong innings and struck out ten Ray batters. He let in one run on two hits—that run coming off the bat of Carl Crawford. Hideki Okajima would allowed two RBIs in relief of Evan Longoria.

Papelbon struck out two for the save.

Pedroia was one for three with an RBI.

Kevin Youkilis was two for four with a double.

Jason Bay and J.D. Drew also contributed RBIs.