Red Sox top Rays to finish successful road tripJun 17, 2011 - 3:17 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - The Red Sox finished up their most successful road trip in 34 years at the expense of David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Boston scored three times over the first two innings and Adrian Gonzalez homered in the ninth in a 4-2 win over the Rays, as the Red Sox grabbed the rubber match of the three-game series at Tropicana Field.
Boston went 8-1 on its road trip, its best mark on a swing of at least nine games since 1977 (9-0). The Red Sox, who have won 13 of their last 15 road tilts, didn't come out of the game unscathed.
Shortstop Jed Lowrie and starting pitcher Clay Buchholz both left Thursday's game against Tampa Bay early due to injuries. Lowrie departed in the first inning due to a bruised left shoulder, and Buchholz (6-3) left after five due to lower back tightness.
"It's the nagging back that's been the same since last year," Buchholz said. "I felt like I was in a better position tonight to come out a little early and not put any more stress on my body than I have to. The way we're playing right now, no one definitely wants to go on the DL. That was my first thought, try to get through five innings and give it to the bullpen."
The Red Sox, winners in 11 of their last 12 games, have been dominant against southpaws. They've won each of their last 11 games in which the opposing starter was a left-hander.
This time it was Price (7-6). He had not walked two batters in any of his previous 14 starts this season, but on Thursday the 25-year-old issued five free passes, one off a career-high. He lasted five innings.
"I didn't command the zone at all today with any pitch," Price said. "You're not going to get by, especially against a team like Boston."
Casey Kotchman homered for the Rays, who had the tying runs on base in the ninth. Jonathan Papelbon escaped the jam and picked up his 13th save of the year.
Gonzalez homered to right off Kyle Farnsworth with two outs, but the Rays threatened in the bottom half when Kotchman doubled to center and B.J. Upton legged out an infield hit. That put Papelbon in a pickle, but he got some help defensively.
Pinch-hitter Elliot Johnson hit a soft pop-up on a bunt try and third baseman Kevin Youkilis made a diving catch in foul territory for the first out. Papelbon then froze pinch-hitter Justin Ruggiano with a pitch on the outside corner and Sean Rodriguez swung through a 3-2 low offering to end the game.
Prior to that the Red Sox used the wildness of Price to move in front in the first. Dustin Pedroia walked, Gonzalez doubled and Youkilis stared down the Rays starter after being hit square on the left arm by a pitch. That prompted home plate umpire Gary Darling to issue warnings to both clubs.
Price then walked David Ortiz on a borderline low full-count pitch to force in the first run, but Lowrie fanned and Carl Crawford grounded out weakly to second. The damage was done, though, in an inning Price threw 33 pitches.
Darnell McDonald singled to center to drive in Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the second. Pedroia followed with an RBI double down the right field line. Marco Scutaro, who replaced Lowrie, popped up with the bases full to end the inning.
Sam Fuld doubled down the left field line to knock in Upton in the bottom of the second and Kotchman made it a 3-2 game with two down in the sixth on a blast to right off Alfredo Aceves.
The Red Sox are a major league best 22-14 on the road this year despite starting a franchise-worst 0-7 away from home...Buchholz is 5-0 over his last nine starts and hasn't lost since April 26 at Baltimore. He has gone 42 consecutive starts since the beginning of 2010 without allowing more than five earned runs...Price had thrown 110 pitches or more in each of his last four starts. He made 106 pitches Thursday.
- BOSTON: 4
TAMPA BAY: 2
Jun 16 10:25 PM
- Adrian Gonzalez two-out, solo Home Run (14) to right. Kevin Youkilis due up.
Red Sox 4, Rays 2 Top 9, 2 OutsJun 16 10:09 PM
- Casey Kotchman two-out, solo Home Run (3) to right. B.J. Upton due up.
Red Sox 3, Rays 2 Bot 6, 2 OutsJun 16 9:20 PM
- Sam Fuld double to left scored B.J. Upton with two out. Runner on second and Reid Brignac due up.
Red Sox 3, Rays 1 Bot 2, 2 OutsJun 16 8:02 PM
- Dustin Pedroia double to right scored Darnell McDonald with one out. Runner on second and Adrian Gonzalez due up.
Red Sox 3, Rays 0 Top 2, 1 OutJun 16 7:46 PM
- Darnell McDonald single to center scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia with one out. On the play, Darnell McDonald advances to second on the throw. Runner on second and Dustin Pedroia due up.
Red Sox 2, Rays 0 Top 2, 1 OutJun 16 7:45 PM
- David Ortiz walk scored Dustin Pedroia with one out. Bases loaded and Jed Lowrie due up.
Red Sox 1, Rays 0 Top 1, 1 OutJun 16 7:22 PM
- BOSTON: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jun 16 7:11 PM
- Rays' Kiermaier expected to miss 8-10 weeks with broken hand May 23
- Rays-Marlins Preview May 23
- Ventura: Relievers, media pose threats to Bradley's streak May 23
- Baseball Capsules May 22
- Tigers beat Rays 9-4 but Zimmermann, Cabrera hurt May 22
- Ortiz gets 4 hits, Bradley's streak at 27, Bosox top Indians May 22
- Archer hit hard as Rays fall 9-4 to Tigers May 22
- Signs of progress for Stanton in Marlins' 8-2 loss to Nats May 22
- Boston's Bradley extends hitting streak to 27 games May 22
- Indians-Red Sox Preview May 21
- Kiermaier breaks hand, Rays fall to Tigers 5-4 May 21
- Rays-Tigers Preview May 21