Opening Day: Rays erase four-run deficit, dump Sox

Smith allowed two more runs, the first as part of a bases-clearing triple by Denard Span that put the Rays up 5-4. Adeiny Hechevarria had an infield to give the Rays an insurance run.

It will be hard for the Rays to replicate Thursday's drama, when they rallied for a 6-4 victory, scoring all their runs in the eighth inning after being held to one hit through the first seven. Matt Barnes pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning to keep the Red Sox.

He was on the 1996 team that was one out away from a National Championship when LSU's Warren Morris hit a two-out two-run home run to win it for the Tigers.

Carson Smith took the loss (0-1) after coming in for the beleaguered Joe Kelly, who made just one out in the eighth inning while being charged with four earned runs. That didn't go well.

Chris Archer allowed four runs on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts in a six-inning no-decision for Tampa Bay. The wheels fell off in a hurry.

The Red Sox are beginning the season in Florida against The Tampa Bay Rays. Archer faces off against Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale.

CIRCLING THE BASES: Nunez's inside-the-park homer was the second of his career.

Quite the fun feat on what has already been a pretty fun opening day.

The Opening Day game was a sellout for the attendance-challenged and revenue-challenged Rays with a stated attendance of 31,024, but empty seats in the stadium were in evidence.

The Rays are celebrating their 20th anniversary in Tampa Bay, marking the historic event with a year of 20th-anniversary promotions, giveaways and parties.

In the off season, the Rays traded homegrown franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria as well as outfielders Corey Dickerson and Steven Sousa Jr. and parted ways with several other players primarily for financial reasons.

The Sox are going into the regular season after a very successful spring training, where they had the best record in the American League.

Each fan in attendance on MLB Opening Day 2018 received a cow bell from the Rays, which is the traditional signature noisemaker at Tropicana Field.

In the second inning of their season opener against the Tampa Bay Rays, Eduardo Nunez sent a seemingly harmless blooper to shallow left-center.

  • Rogelio Becker