The Boston Red Sox came into the first leg of their doubleheader with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday and started out strong, taking a 4-1 lead over 4.1 innings behind relatively solid pitching from Alfredo Aceves a RBI from Dustin Pedroia and three RBIs from David Ortiz.
However, an almost three-hour rain delay halted the game through four and a half innings with the Red Sox up to bat, severely interrupting the action and the game as the Red Sox had something cooking when the rain started coming down heavily.
Boston added one more run after the downpour subsided and that was about the only action to speak of afterwards. The Red Sox’s bats were looking solid as Ortiz and Shane Victorino each knocked two hits and Jacoby Ellsbury notched three, including a double and a triple.
The main takeaway from the first game of the doubleheader, though, was the fact that the rain delay forced both teams to go to their bullpens earlier than they probably would have liked to. The Rays were only forced to use two pitchers over 3.1 innings, but the Red Sox used four pitchers in relief, each lasting an inning apiece.
With the second game of the doubleheader looming on Tuesday night, both teams would have liked to let their starters in the day game do the bulk of the work on the mound and save their bullpen just in case for the nightcap. The rain delay made that impossible, though.
Because of the rain delay, the starters in the second game are going to need to last longer than they may have planned and be economical on the mound, especially Felix Doubront for Boston. If Doubront fails to last deep into the nightcap, we could all be treated to watching a position player on the mound, which is always awkward and entertaining.