BOSTON — David Ortiz drove in three runs and the Boston Red Sox opened a day-night doubleheader by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 yesterday in a game delayed nearly three hours by rain.
The halt in the fifth inning lasted 2 hours, 59 minutes, prolonging a game that had already been postponed because of rain on April 12.
The Red Sox invited fans who stuck out yesterday’s first game to return for the second for free. The opener ended after the scheduled 7:05 p.m. start time for the nightcap — by that point, with little turnaround time, Game 2 ticket-holders were already wandering into Fenway Park.
Highly touted Rays prospect Wil Myers went 0 for 4 in his major league debut. The 22-year-old rookie played right field.
Boston led 4-1 when the downpour began. The Red Sox added a run in the sixth on back-to-back triples by Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino.
Ellsbury also doubled and singled, and he scored all three times he reached base.
Alfredo Aceves (4-1) overcame early control problems and won his third straight start, allowing one run and three hits. He did not return after the delay.
The Red Sox had lost four of six, including two of a three-game series at Tampa Bay last week.
Chris Archer (1-3) took the only loss for the Rays last week, and Boston beat him again. He struck out five in 4 2-3 innings, but also walked five while allowing four runs and five hits.
Archer walked Daniel Nava to load the bases with two outs in the fifth and that was it for him. Josh Lueke came in from the bullpen and had just started warming up when the rain arrived and the game was delayed with Boston leading 4-1. Almost three hours later, Lueke struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning.
Ortiz hit a two-run single in the third after Ellsbury and Victorino opened the inning with singles.