Game 1: Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, left, talks with pitcher Matt Moore, middle, during the five-run fourth inning for the Red Sox. (Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports)
BOSTON (USA TODAY) -- Whatever happened in right field Friday afternoon at Fenway Park, it doesn't account for the Tampa Bay Rays losing their grip on fundamental baseball.
That's not how they do business.
BOX SCORE: Red Sox 12, Rays 2
But seizing an opening and turning it into a lopsided 12-2 victory in Game 1 of their American League Division Series is exactly what you'd expect from the Boston Red Sox.
The game ended with two pertinent questions:
Why did Rays outfielder Wil Myers let David Ortiz's fly ball land on the warning track in fourth inning when Myers appeared to be ready to make the catch?
And, regardless, why did the Rays break down so completely in what became an interminable-for-them, game-changing five-run inning?
That's the more difficult one to explain.
The Red Sox, who were hitless entering the fourth inning, had turned a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 lead in the inning and had eight runs and 10 hits by the end of the fifth.
After Dustin Pedroia led off the first inning with Boston's first hit of the game against Rays starter Matt Moore, Ortiz hit a towering fly ball.
Myers moved into position in deep right-center field - in front of the Red Sox bullpen - and waved as if he had the play under control, then reacted as if he was called off the ball.
If so, who did he hear?
Center fielder Desmond Jennings was gliding into position behind Myers but not acting as if he planned to catch the ball.
A fan in the bleachers about 15 feet away? Someone closer in the Red Sox bullpen?
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Regardless, the ball bounced behind Myers and over the fence for a ground-rule double.
Fenway Park fans chanted Myers' name for most of the inning that became, but it was his teammates who played as if they were shaken.
Moore retired Mike Napoli on a pop-up, but then former Tampa Bay player Jonny Gomes doubled off the left-field wall to erase the lead the Rays had built on solo home runs by Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist against Boston starter Jon Lester.
Then, the real meltdown began and the Red Sox simultaneously were all in on taking advantage of the opportunity. With two outs, Stephen Drew barely got to first base ahead of Moore, who was trying to get there in time to take a throw from first baseman james Loney. And Moore didn't react quickly enough as Gomes raced home from second.
Will Middlebrooks then doubled, Drew scoring because Rodriguez had the wrong angle on the carom off the Green Monster left field wall. Middlebrooks advanced to third when catcher Jose Lobaton committed a passed ball on a third strike to Jacoby Ellsbury that should have ended the inning, then scored on a single by Shane Victorino.
Rodriguez had more trouble gauging a bounce off the wall in the fifth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in two more runs.
Lester cruised through the game, allowing two runs on three hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Paul White, USA TODAY Sports