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Red Sox Take Game One of MLB Dominican Series 4-0

 Matt Tallarini  |    Mar 9th, 2024 10:04pm EST

The Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays played an exhibition game at Estadio Quisqueya on Saturday, March 9, 2024 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – With the Caribbean sky shadowed by early evening clouds at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal, the Boston Red Sox shut out the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 in the first Major League Baseball spring training game in the Dominican Republic’s capital since March 2020. 

The Red Sox are 9-6 in the Grapefruit League and in third place. The Ray are in last place in the Grapefruit league with their record at 4-8. 

The Dominican Republic Series pregame festivities featured Hall of Famers David Ortiz and Pedro Martinez throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the first game of the two game series in Santo Domingo. 

Dominican Series Ambassador and Reggaeton Artist Natti Natasha addressed the fans prior to the start of the game on Saturday. 

In the top of the first inning Red Sox left fielder Jarren Duran led off the game with a single to center field off Rays starting pitcher Yoniel Curet. 

A few batters later, Red Sox center fielder Ceddanne Rafaela ripped a two-out line drive double to left field with the bases loaded,  scoring Duran and shortstop Trevor Story for the first two runs of the game. 

Curet did not come back out for the top of the second inning, as Rays manager Kevin Cash brought in Jacob Waguespack. Curet threw one inning, allowing two hits, two earned runs, two walks, and three strikeouts. 

During the top of the third inning, the Red Sox cracked their third run of the game when Rafaela reached on a fielding error by Rays shortstop José Caballero and Rafael Devers came into score to extend the lead to 3-0. 

In the top of the sixth inning, Boston marked up their final run of the game when second baseman Enmanuel Valdez cranked a solo home run off Rays relief pitcher Edwin Uceta that wrapped around the right field foul pole to make it 4-0. 

Red Sox relief pitcher and Dominican Republic native Luis Guerrero closed out the game in the bottom of the ninth inning and got Rays right fielder Harold Ramirez to ground out into a fielder’s choice to second baseman Valdez for the final out of the game. 

Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s pitching staff allowed four hits, one walk, and notched five strikeouts during Saturday’s win over their division rival. 

Red Sox starting pitcher Kutter Crawford threw three innings with 39 pitches, allowing two hits and striking out two during Saturday’s win. 

Rays manager Kevin Cash’s pitching staff allowed three earned runs, 10 hits, three walks, and struck out 16 batters in Saturday’s loss.

The first game of the Dominican Series had 11,853 fans that were in attendance at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal. 

The Dominican Republic has never hosted an MLB regular-season game, even though it has been home to baseball training programs with all 30 MLB organizations, including their Dominican Republic Summer Complex League academies located in the country since 1985. 

The Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers played at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal on March 7, 2020. The Houston Astros and Red Sox also had a split-squad set of games during spring training in the Dominican Republic in 2000. 

Tampa Bay and Boston will play the second and final game of the Dominican Republic Series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. EDT. 

The MLB World Tour will have three more stops in the 2024 regular season.

The San Diego Padres will play the Los Angeles Dodgers as regular season games in Seoul, South Korea at the Gocheok Sky Dome from March 20-21 with all their two games starting at 6:05 a.m. EDT. 

The Houston Astros will face off against the Colorado Rockies in Mexico City, Mexico at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helú from April 27-28. The Mexico City Series will have their first game at 6:05 p.m. EDT on April 27 and the second game will be at 4:05 p.m. EDT on April 28. 

The New York Mets will take on their division rival, the Philadelphia Phillies, in London, England from June 8-9 at London Stadium. The first game of the London Series will start at 1:10 p.m. EDT on June 8 and the final game will take place at 10:10 a.m. EDT on June 9.