Longoria Delivers Key Hit To Back David Price In Rays 6-4 Victory Over Red Sox
Price Continues To Set Tone As Rays Win Eighth Straight
The Tampa Bay Rays returned home and defeated the Boston Red Sox by a final score of 6-3 to extend their winning streak to eight in a row and improve to just 3 games under .500 at 50-53.
The winning streak is tied for the second longest in club history trailing only the 12 game win streak from June 9 through 22nd in 2004.
The win improves the Rays record since June 10th to a major league best mark of 26-11. Additionally, the improve to 13-4 in July and have defeated the Red Sox in six out of 10 games this season.
David Price picks up the win to improve to 11-7 with a 3,08 ERA. For the fourth consecutive game he worked eight innings allowing three runs (all earned) on eight hits striking out ten without issuing a walk. The outing extending his streak of pitching at least seven innings to 12 straight games and his double digit strikeout performance was his major league leading ninth of the season. Jake McGee came in to work the ninth inning and picked up his 10th save of the season.
He entered the game not having allowed a run over his last 16 innings of work. He had recorded a win in each of his last five outings, an impressive string of 10 quality starts (six or more inning with three earned runs or less), and had thrown 100 pitches in each of his last seven outings.
Shane Victorino ended Price;s scoreless streak with two out in the top of the second as he lined a solo homer to left to give the Red Sox the early 1-0 lead. It was only Victorino’s second home run of the season and first since May 21st against the Toronto Blue Jays and extended his hit streak to six games. The home run was the 20th allowed by Price tying him with the Red Sox Jake Peavy for the American League lead.
Jon Lester entered the game having allowed just one earned run over his last 31 innings of work and had allowed two earned runs or less in each of his past seven outings dating back to June 10th.
He had also entered the game not allowing a home run in his last 53 innings of work. With James Loney at first base and two outs in the bottom of the fifth Desmond Jennnings connected on a two run homer to give the Rays a 2-1 lead.
Jennings entered the game posting a triple slash line of .300/.402/.500 (21 for 70) with eight doubles, two home runs and ten walks since June 8th. The home run was his ninth on the season and first since connecting off the Detroit Tigers Rick Porcello on July 6th.
The Rays lead was short lived as David Ortiz singled to plate Dustin Pedroia with one out in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game at 2-2 and Ortiz came in to score on a RBI single by Shane Victorino to give the Red Sox the 3-2 lead.
Lester worked the first six innings allowing just the two runs (both earned) on six hits while striking out seven and walking one. He was replaced by Andrew Miller who hit Jose Molina to begin the bottom of the seventh then struck out Logan Forsythe before being lifted for Junichi Tazawa (1-2, 3.15 ERA).
Tazawa walked Desmond Jennings to push Molina to second base where Cole Figueroa came in to pinch run for him. Ben Zobrist sent a single to left field as Figueroa raced around from second to score and tie the game at 3-3. Jonny Gomes could not field the ball cleanly and Desmond Jennings alertly raced to third representing the go-ahead run.
The base hit was Zobrist’s second four hit game of the season the last coming on July 6th in Detroit against the Tigers. It was his sixth career game with four or more hits.
Tazawa continued to struggle and walked Brandon Guyer to load the base for Evan Longoria who entered the plate appearance hitting .314 (27 for 86) with runners in scoring position. Longoria delivered a bases clearing double to give the Rays a 6-3 lead.
David Price came out to begin the eighth inning and allowed a lead off single to Dustin Pedroia. David Ortiz sent a grounder back up the middle where Evan Longoria was playing the position vacated by Yunel Escobar on the shift. Longoira made a diving stop of hte ball and flipped to second to retire Pedroia.
Price struck out Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes to end the inning to give him his ninth double digit strikeout game on the season which leads the major leagues.
Craig Breslow came in to work the bottom of the eighth inning and retired the Rays on six pitches.
Jake McGee came in to work the ninth inning and gave up a one out infield single to Xander Bogaerts who moved to third on a Jackie Bradley Jr. double, and came in to score on a David Ross sacrifice fly. McGee came back to strike out Brock Holt