Behind a dominant David Price the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox by a final score of 5-1. The Rays cut back into the Red Sox lead and are 1/2 game out of first place with a record of 60-42.
David Price (4-5, 3. ERA) was remarkable in shutting down the potent Red Sox offense. He tossed his 3rd complete game since returning from the disabled list allowing just 5 hits, striking out 4 and walking 0. Once again he was efficient in cutting down the opposition only needing 97 pitches to complete the game. He recorded 12 groundball outs, accounting for 13 outs, and struck out 4 batters.
Since returning from the disabled list it could be argued that Price is better than at any point in his Cy Young season a year ago. He is 4-1 with a 1.75 ER A(8ER/41IP) striking out 27 and walking just 1 batter. The only batter he’s walked has been the Blue Jays Mark DeRosa a span of 147 batters. The starting rotation has taken his lead since he returned as the unit has a record of 13-3 with a 2.17 ERA. Over the last 32 games Rays starters have given up 3 runs or less in 29 of them.
The Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead off Felix Doubront (7-4, 3.78 ERA) thanks to the Red Sox poor defense, a few well placed hits, and aggressive baserunning in the top of the 3rd inning. With 1-out Jonny Gomes dropped a line drive off the bat of Desmond Jennings for an error. Jennings advanced to second on an errant pick off throw and moved to 3rd on an Evan Longria single.
With runners on the corners the Rays put on the old safety squeeze which did not score the run but resulted in having the bases loaded. Wil Myers took advantage of the runners in scoring position as he dropped a soft single over the infield to score Longoria and Jennings. With Luke Scott batting Zobrist and Myers pulled off a double steal to get into scoring position and Luke Scott made the effort pay off delivering a sacrifice fly to put the Rays up 3-0.
Mike Napoli got the Red Sox on the board in the bottom of the 7th with a 1-out solo blast to cut the Rays lead to 3-1 but the Rays answered with 2 runs in the top of the 8th to extend the lead to 5-1.
With 2-outs in the inning Sean Rodriguez singled off Matt Thornton to advance Luke Scott to 2nd base. James Loney followed with a single to right that scored Scott and advancing Rodriguez to 3rd. Jose Molina followed with a RBI single to score Rodriguez and give the Rays a 5-1 lead.
The Rays defense was outstanding all evening long but nothing was better than this remarkable double play initiated by Yunel Escobar.
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