BOSTON – Josh Beckett pitched eight solid innings Friday and the Boston Red Sox rebounded from a rough road trip by winning their eighth straight home opener, 12-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston won despite losing center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury because of an injured right shoulder. He was hurt trying to break up a double play in the fourth when Rays shortstop Reid Brignac landed on Ellsbury's right arm.
Ellsbury, the runner-up in the voting for AL MVP last year, stayed on the ground while a trainer tended to him. Ellsbury walked off the field while keeping his right arm bent at the elbow, and there was no immediate report on the extent of his injury.
Bobby Valentine won his first home game as Boston's manager, Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz drove in three runs and Adrian Gonzalez and Kelly Shoppach had three hits. Boston broke away with an eight-run eighth.
The Red Sox began their 101st season at Fenway Park, and their winning streak in home openers is the longest current string in the majors. Boston entered the game with a 1-5 record that included a 10-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers in which Beckett (1-1) allowed five homers.
But Beckett limited the Rays to five hits and one walk. He struck out just one, getting Carlos Pena in the eighth and extending his streak to 281 games with at least one strikeout since the start of his career. Only Dwight Gooden has a longer streak to begin his career, 349 games from 1984 to 1997.
Beckett improved to 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA in five home openers for them.
David Price (1-1) lasted just three innings for Tampa Bay and left after allowing three runs in the third. The Red Sox put the game away in the eighth when the first 10 batters reached base.
The Rays went ahead 1-0 with no outs in the second on a single by Ben Zobrist and a double by Jeff Keppinger. That was Tampa Bay's last hit until Matt Joyce singled with two outs in the sixth. Jose Molina added a two-out single in the seventh before Beckett retired his last four batters.
Zobrist also hit his first homer of the year, a solo shot in the ninth.
The Red Sox took the lead for good in the third when they loaded the bases on a walk to Shoppach, a double by Ellsbury and a walk to Dustin Pedroia. Gonzalez singled in a run, Youkilis hit a sacrifice fly and Ortiz added an RBI single.
The RBIs by Gonzalez and Youkilis were the first in their careers against Price.
Boston made it 4-1 in the fourth off Burke Badenhop on a double by Shoppach and a single by Ellsbury. On the next play, Pedroia grounded to Brignac, who stepped on second and fired to first to complete the double play.
Boston broke the game open in the eighth with eight hits, including a two-run double by Shoppach and two-run singles by Youkilis and Ryan Sweeney.
NOTES: On the last day of the 2011 regular season, the Rays edged Boston for the AL wild-card spot when they rallied to beat the Yankees minutes after the Red Sox lost to the Baltimore Orioles. ... Shoppach got the first stolen base of his career in the sixth. ... Price is 10-2 in opposing AL East parks. ... Tampa Bay is 1-3 after starting the season with a three-game sweep of the New York Yankees. ...Pedroia's streak of homers in his last three home openers came to an end.