June 16, 2011
V: Boston Red Sox
|Red Sox (41-27)||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||6||0|
W: Clay Buchholz (6-3) 3.48 ERA
L: David Price (7-6) 3.61 ERA
S: Jonathan Papelbon (13) 4.18 ERA
The Rays offensive problems at home have been well documented early in the season. One of the reasons is that since the beginning of 2010, Tropicana Field has become an extreme pitcher’s park. This series with the Red Sox was no exception. The two teams (and remember, the Red Sox have scored the most runs in baseball) combined for just 13 runs over three games. While there was no complete game shutout last night, Clay Buchholz outdueled David Price 4-2 to take the series.
Things got a little testy in the first when Price came up and in on Kevin Youkilis to hit the previous night’s hero. The two teams were warned and nothing further happened. Price walked David Ortiz to force in a run in that first inning and then allowed two more runs in the second.
Both starters were gone after five inning. Buchholz, who allowed just a single run, hurt his back and might have to be place on the disabled list. It was up to the Rays offense to come back against the vulnerable part of the Red Sox pen. Casey Kotchman helped by homering in the sixth off of Alfredo Aceves to make it 4-2, but Aceves and Daniel Bard got the ball to Jonathan Papelbon to close out the game.
The Rays put their first two runners on in the ninth against Papelbon, but after Elliot Johnson failed to get a bunt down, the Red Sox closer retired the side by striking out Justin Ruggiano and Sean Rodriguez.
Player of the Game: Adrian Gonzalez. The Rays were mostly able to shut down the Red Sox offense for the except of Gonalez who had two hits last night and three of the five hits that James Shields gave up on Tuesday.