by Steve Carney
The Boston Red Sox hit three home runs, and a three-run sixth inning helped Boston defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 Monday in Fort Myers.
Boston got on the scoreboard in the second inning, as Shane Victorino was hit by a Jake Odorizzi pitch with one out and Xander Bogaerts followed by drawing a walk. A.J. Pierzynski then popped out for the second out of the inning, but Will Middlebrooks doubled off the wall in left to bring in Victorino.
Odorizzi would leave in the third down 1-0, but Steve Geltz couldn't keep the deficit at a run, allowing a solo home run by David Ortiz on the first pitch he threw.
Evan Longoria countered in the top of the fourth with a long home run to left, but that would be as close as the Rays would get. Boston added three more runs in the sixth thanks to a solo home run by Mike Napoli, RBI double from Pierzynski, and an RBI single by Middlebrooks, all off left-hander Erik Bedard.
Tampa Bay had an opportunity to get back in the game in the seventh as the rays loaded the bases with two out, but Mikie Mahtook flew out to left field to strand the bases loaded.
Boston's Corey Brown extended the lead to 6-1 in the eighth with a solo homer off the centerfield light tower off Santiago Garrido.
The Rays got one run closer in the ninth with an RBI single by Kevin Kiermaier, but Vince Belnome grounded into a double play to end the game.
Tampa Bay will welcome the Minnesota Twins to Port Charlotte Tuesday, when David Price takes on Ricky Nolasco. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05.