The game was tied 5-all until Mike Aviles homered after replacing an injured Jacoby Ellsbury as the leadoff hitter, starting a three-run seventh inning. The Red Sox added five runs in the eighth one day after scoring eight in that inning.
The outburst was more remarkable because Boston had scored a total of just 57 runs in 18 games against Tampa Bay last season.
The Red Sox rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the first inning as Clay Buchholz (1-0) settled down after that rough start.
Ellsbury, last year's runner-up in the AL MVP voting, went on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a partially dislocated right shoulder. He was hurt trying to break up a double play on Friday.
Aviles, batting first for just the 46th time in 346 career games, led off the seventh with a homer, his first of the season, off Burke Badenhop (0-1). The Red Sox then loaded the bases off J.P. Howell on a double by Adrian Gonzalez, a walk to Kevin Youkilis and a single by Ortiz. Cody Ross followed with a two-run double for an 8-5 lead.
Jeremy Hellickson struggled in his first start since being hit in the head with a ball during batting practice on Wednesday. He gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings.
Tampa Bay had taken its first-inning lead on an RBI-double by Carlos Pena and a three-run homer by Luke Scott, his first of the year.
The Red Sox cut that in half on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-run homer, his first, but Scott's run-scoring double in the third made it 5-2.
Then Boston tied it with two more homers - one run scoring on Dustin Pedroia's second of the year in the third and two on David Ortiz's first in the fifth.
Its fourth homer, by Aviles, gave the Red Sox the lead for good.
Aviles had batted only eighth and ninth this season, but Ellsbury's injury left a vacancy at the top of the order that figured to be tough to fill.
The center fielder batted .321 with 32 homers and 105 RBIs and led the majors with 364 total bases last season. He was hurt when he slid into second base in the fourth inning trying to break up a double play and shortstop Reid Brignac landed hard on Ellsbury's right shoulder.
Boston manager Bobby Valentine gave no timetable for his return.
Boston scored their five runs in the eighth on a three-run double by Ortiz and a two-run homer by Ross.
NOTES: The Red Sox called up OF Che-Hsuan Lin from Triple-A Pawtucket to take Ellsbury's roster spot. ... The Rays optioned RHP Josh Lueke to Triple-A Durham and recalled RHP Dane De La Rosa from that team. Lueke allowed four runs on six hits in one inning of Tampa Bay's 12-2 loss to Boston on Friday. ... The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Bill Hogan Jr., who was born six days before Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. Saturday was his 100th birthday. ... Boston LF Carl Crawford, recovering from wrist and elbow injuries, took batting practice.
- Jacoby Ellsbury
- David Ortiz
- Mike Aviles
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Tampa Bay