Rays hammer Porcello, Red Sox in series opener

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The Red Sox and Rays will play today at 1:05 PM with lefty Drew Pomeranz going for Boston and righty Alex Cobb taking the hill for Tampa Bay.

"He was sharp. He was powerful", Farrell said of his closer. Heath Hembree got a chance in the eighth Monday with Barnes unavailable. "I was fortunate to have Wake here, worked a lot", Wright said. I was stretched out and being ready for any situation if they called for me.

With Thornburg and Smith out, the openings in the bullpen have motivated others who knew promotions were possible if they stepped up in a time of need. I think guys have been able to mentally prepare for their time in the game. They'll eventually come around, it just might be too late by then. "That entire group has done a very solid, if not outstanding, job". He will make his next start against the Houston Astros this weekend. "But anyone in the bullpen can do that".

Sale breezed through the first inning, throwing only 11 pitches to retire the side in order, but the strikeouts and some long at-bats added to his 111-pitch total.

Robbie Ross Jr., Ben Taylor and Heath Hembree proceeded Kimbrel to the mound, holding the Rays at bay.

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Blake Snell (0-2) gave up 4 runs - 1 earned - and 7 hits in 5 innings. He's instead hitting.356 with a league-leading nine doubles.

Barnes started his outing by striking out Brad Miller, but then walked back-to-back hitters to bring up Longoria. Moreland led off the inning with a single through the middle, putting him a triple shy of the cycle. He made a major-league debut in mop-in duty, and a week later he was optioned back to Pawtucket. "Hopefully I can build on that".

Hunter was ideal in the sixth inning, but ran into trouble in the seventh after Sale threw a spotless top of the inning.

Craig Kimbrel entered the game in the top of the ninth, attempting to notch his fourth save of the season. While Rick Porcello has started as impressively as he did past year, the reigning CY Young victor may have trouble keeping the award against his new teammate this season.

"I think past year I was battling through some things and maybe got in some bad habits, but right now everything feels great", Kimbrel said.

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"Being here for a couple of weeks now and going through it, it's nice to get that one [win] over with and we can keep cruising", Sale said.

Tampa Bay Rays' Kevin Kiermaier, left, scores behind Boston Red Sox's Sandy Leon on a ground out by Steven Souza Jr. during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 17, 2017, in Boston.

INDIANS 3, TWINS 1 Danny Salazar finished six innings strong after a shaky start, Michael Brantley homered and drove in two runs and visiting Cleveland beat Minnesota.

Key for the Red Sox offense this year has been Mitch Moreland, with 14 hits and seven runs closing out the week, and Dustin Pedroia, who had 13 hits and five RBI in that same span. Pedroia whiffed 0-for-5 on Sunday, but Moreland bagged two hits and three RBI.

But the skinny left-hander got just enough help Saturday to get his first victory in a Red Sox uniform.

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