Tampa Bay vs. Boston Live Blog: Red Sox Open Spring Training Against Rays

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIFebruary 23, 2013

John Lackey gets the start in the Grapefruit League opener.
John Lackey gets the start in the Grapefruit League opener.Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays took advantage of some inconsistent Boston Red Sox pitching as they took the first game of spring training, 4-3.

John Lackey took the mound for the first time since 2011 for the Red Sox, allowing one run in one inning of work. He struggled early in the inning, but got more comfortable with each batter and got out the first without further damage.

Down 2-0 in the seventh inning, Jose Iglesias launched a ball into the replica Green Monster seats to tie the game. Iglesias, who also had an error in the game, is trying to prove the Red Sox front office wrong. Boston signed Stephen Drew, who went 0-for-1 with a walk, this winter that will likely send Iglesias to Triple-A Pawtucket to start the season.

Oscar Villareal allowed a two-run home run to Leslie Anderson in the eighth inning, putting Boston against the wall late.

Xander Bogaerts, the team’s top prospect, hit an RBI single in the bottom of the night to cut the Rays’ lead to 4-3, but Daniel Nava struck out looking to end the game with him on first base.

None of the Red Sox starters were that impressive offensively and aside from the shaky first from Lackey, a couple of poor innings from Drake Britton and the home run allowed by Villareal, the pitching wasn’t too bad.

The Red Sox travel to take on the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m. ET.

Final: Rays 4, Red Sox 3

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