Red Sox beat Tampa Bay Rays 5 - 3 on Opening Day

Small touches make Opening Day shine for Red Sox Over here at Red Sox Monster, we like to crack wise, poking fun at players, fans, ourselves, readers -- it's an equal opportunity freak show, really.

Funny thing, though. When Opening Day arrives, I turn into an 8-year-old, equal parts jealous of fans who make the game and giddy to have sweet, sweet baseball return as a part of day-to-day life.

Fenway Park, you did it to me again this year -- even though I watched from a desk 450 miles away from Boston.

i love the sox”

— bob

BOSTON -- This was a different Josh Beckett than the one the Tampa Bay Rays knocked around in last year's AL Championship Series.

The Red Sox right-hander struck out 10 in seven innings of two-hit ball to lead Boston to a 5-3 victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday in a makeup of their rained-out opener.

Hello, Rays. Meet Josh Beckett. The new and improved version.

Yeah, he was pretty good last year, but as you saw today, he's gotten even better. Beckett went seven innings in the Sox opener, allowed just two hits, one run, walked three and struck out 10.

Mr. Money.

Despite a rough inning by both Hideki Okajima and Justin Masterson in relief, the Red Sox held on for a 5-3 win. Jonathan Papelbon earned the save with a two-strikeout 9th inning.