Game 102: David Price Dominates Red Sox as Rays Win 5-1

By David Hill

Since coming back from his triceps injury, David Price has been on a different plane of pitching excellence, typically dominating the opposition and firing strikes as though his left arm was a pitching machine. That dominance continued against the Boston Red Sox, as he held them in check for most of the night.

The Rays broke through against Boston starter Felix Doubront in the top of the third. After loading the bases with one out, Wil Myers came through with a broken bat bloop single to center, plating two runs to put the Red Sox on top. Myers and Ben Zobrist then executed a double steal to put runners on second and third, with Zobrist coming around to score on a sacrifice fly to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.

Doubrant settled in from that point, holding the Rays off the board for the rest of his outing, but Price was dominant once again. Aside from a ground rule double for Mike Napoli, the Red Sox were unable to advance a runner to second at any point in the first six innings.Price was assisted by what may have been the defensive highlight of the year for the Rays, as Yunel Escobar made a ridiculous behind the back flip with his glove in the fourth to turn a beautiful double play. Plays like that, while absolutely gorgeous, have seemingly become routine for Escobar, as he may be positioning himself nicely for a Gold Glove this year.

However, the shutout was ruined in the seventh by the hot hitting Napoli, who hammered Price’s 1-0 offering over the Green Monster to put the Red Sox on the board. Price went into shutdown mode after that, holding Boston without a baserunner for the rest of the game.

Tampa tacked on a couple of insurance runs in the eighth, using more of their two out magic. With runners on first and second, James Loney grounded through the hole to right for an RBI single, and Jose Molina followed with a base hit of his own to give the Rays a 5-1 lead. Price ended the suspense with a perfect ninth, as Escobar ended the game with a nice grab of David Ortiz‘s line drive. Price held the Red Sox offense to the one run on five hits, striking out four in his third complete game in his past four starts.

Myers had his sixth consecutive multi-hit game, going 2-4 with two RBIs, a walk and a stolen base in the win.