Red Sox Go Down Again On Three Hits as Price Helps Rays Win Series
Talk about consistency and in a good way. For three games in a row, Rays pitchers held the Red Sox to three hits. That is just nine hits over 26 innings in a little over 27 hours. David Price continued to the great run by throwing eight shutout innings and while he didn’t throw the complete game, he was even better than James Shields and Jeff Niemann. The Rays offense provided four runs which was enough for Tampa Bay to take two of three in Fenway Park. If not for just one bad inning in which Shields allowed a three-run homer to Jacoby Ellsbury, the Rays could have easily swept this series.
How good was Price today? Well, you know that he only allowed three hits to go with three walks. He also struck out six, but it was his work when men got on base that was especially impressive. He has been criticized lately for his inability to pitch out of jams, but he silenced those worries at least for this afternoon. The Rays had a 3-0 lead off the sixth when Jacoby Ellsbury tripled into deep center field. B.J. Upton did a great job just preventing an inside-the-park homer. Price, pitching from the windup, proceeded to strike out Dustin Pedroia. Then he induced a grounder that eventually erased Ellsbury on the bases. Finally, he got Kevin Youkilis to ground out to first. Letting a run score wouldn’t have been the worst thing to happen, yet Price prevented it.
While the Rays did not score a bunch of runs in this series, or even in there last series against the Yankees, they did a good job of seeing a lot of pitches, trying to get the starting pitcher out. Most of their damage on this road trip has been done on solo homers. Today was no exception as Upton and Evan Longoria both hit solo shots. They also put a lot of runners on base but they were dreadful again today about getting them home. They had just one hit in 12 at bats (a Ben Zobrist double to drive home the fourth run) with runners in scoring position today.
Finally, the day wouldn’t be complete without some bean balls adding to the rivalry. Twice Kelly Shoppach got hit by a pitch to go with the two times that Sean Rodriguez got hit by a pitch yesterday. Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald got nailed by Price in the seventh maybe as retaliation. McDonald definitely retaliated with a hard and unnecessary take out slide at second base. His spot came up again in the ninth, but McDonald was saved from getting drilled again when Red Sox manager Terry Francona used a pinch-hitter.
Player of the Game: David Price