BOSTON (AP) -
recalled being in the Rays clubhouse at Fenway Park last year, watching the plastic go up to protect the lockers from champagne.
The AL championship was within reach.
The bubbly never flowed that October night when the
rallied from nowhere to win Game 5 of the ALCS.
The outcome was better on Wednesday night when Kazmir pitched six strong innings, reliever
escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Tampa Bay beat Boston 7-2.
''I remember sitting right there on that couch'' in the middle of room, Kazmir said, recalling the night he left with a 5-0
lead that the bullpen turned into an 8-7 loss. ''(I was) watching them putting things up and getting ready for a celebration
and then watching them take it down.''
Winning the second game of the season certainly isn't cause for celebration. But it was satisfying to Kazmir (1-0), who didn't
make his first start last year until May 4 because of a strained elbow. That also was at Fenway Park. And he lost.
''Is that right? I had no idea,'' he said. ''I like pitching here. The adrenaline gets going. It's only fitting that I start
out at Fenway.''
Kazmir allowed one run and five hits in his 11th start at Fenway since 2005, the most by any opponent. His 2.88 ERA at the
park is the best by any opposing pitcher with a minimum of 50 innings there.
''I thought his last few outings in spring training were very good,'' Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. ''I really thought
he was going to carry it over, and he did.''
hit a two-run homer after striking out in his first five at-bats this season and
hit a solo homer.
(0-1), who lost Game 7 of the ALCS to Tampa Bay, allowed five runs in five innings.
''The biggest thing for them is they make adjustments from at bat to at bat,'' he said. ''I didn't make the right adjustments
Tampa Bay bounced back after losing Tuesday's opener 5-3 to
, who struck out 10 in seven sharp innings.
Lester's 16-game regular-season unbeaten streak at home ended with his first loss since April 9 against Detroit. He also lost
Game 3 of the ALCS at Fenway.
Tampa Bay scored four runs in the fifth when the first four batters reached base.
walked and took third on
's hit-and-run single that went through the shortstop hole vacated by
, who ran to cover second. Kapler scored on
's safety squeeze bunt down the first-base line just in front of home plate.
''That was probably the biggest play of the inning,'' Boston manager
said. ''Then Pena hits the home run. That's the backbreaker.''
singled, loading the bases, and Iwamura scored on Longoria's double play. Pena then hit his first homer to straightaway center
Longoria homered in the eighth and Crawford singled in a run in the ninth.
Kazmir had an outstanding changeup and left with a 5-1 lead.
relieved Kazmir and pitched a perfect seventh, but J.P. Howell put the
in position to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth.
singled, took second on
' single and scored on
's double. Howell then hit
with a pitch, bringing up Lowrie as the potential tying run.
Balfour came in and ended the threat on Lowrie's swinging third strike and pitched the ninth for the save.
''This is not an easy place to pitch,'' Balfour said, ''but I was locked in and didn't hear anything.''
The Rays went ahead 1-0 in the third after Iwamura led off with a double. He stayed at second on Bartlett's infield single
to shortstop then scored when Youkilis made a diving stop of Crawford's grounder but threw wildly to second.
tied it in the bottom half.
doubled and scored on Youkilis' single to center. In the first, though, they wasted two walks.
''I really felt good. Got myself in a little but of trouble in the first inning and worked out of it,'' Kazmir said. ''It
feels good to get the first win out of the way.''
Notes: Ortiz is 7-for-39 (.179) against Kazmir after going 0-for-2. ... Lester allowed five runs or more in only five of his
33 regular-season starts last year. ... Outfielders Kapler of Tampa Bay and
of Boston made their first starts of the season, both against their former teams. ... Through 1 1/2 innings, only three of
the 13 batters put the ball in play. Seven struck out and three walked.