Price Sends Rays Back to East Lead
Boston — David Price allowed just two hits over 71∕3 innings to beat the Boston Red Sox for the second time in six days, and Tampa Bay won 2-1 on Monday night to retake first place in the AL East.
Price (6-5) was dominating the makeup game before it was delayed for 39 minutes because of a brief downpour that arrived as fans were singing Sweet Caroline and he was warming up for the bottom of the eighth. The Rays left-hander stayed in the game, but retired just one batter — after starting him out with three straight balls — before Joel Peralta relieved him.
Ryan Lavarnway doubled off the Green Monster, but pinch-runner Daniel Nava couldn’t score when Stephen Drew’s line drive went over right fielder Wil Myers’ head for a double. Nava tagged on Brandon Snyder’s fly ball to short left-center, but he was called out by home plate umpire Jerry Meals even though replays showed that Nava’s leg got the plate before the tag.
Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected arguing the call.
Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 26th save. He gave up a leadoff single to Jacoby Ellsbury, who stole second with one out, and walked David Ortiz with two outs. A 100 mph wild pitch moved the runners to second and third but Mike Napoli struck out on a 3-2 changeup to end the game.
Felix Doubront (7-5) allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks, striking out four in five innings.
Price pitched a five-hitter to beat the Red Sox on Wednesday and help the Rays move a half-game back in the AL East behind Boston, which had been in first since May 27. But the series finale was rained out on Thursday, bringing the teams back to Boston for the makeup on Monday night.
Before they could finish things up at Fenway Park for the season, the Rays took over first place in the division on Friday and then gave it back on Sunday.
Price allowed just Ortiz’s double high off the Green Monster to lead off the second inning and Snyder’s 302-foot fly ball off the Pesky Pole for a home run in the sixth. That was the only runner to get past second base against Price, who walked none and struck out eight to win for the fifth time in six starts since coming off the disabled list on July 2.
The Rays led 2-0 after five on an RBI double from Sean Rodriguez and a run-scoring fielder’s choice by Meyers.
Notes: The Rays acquired injured White Sox reliever Jesse Crain for future considerations. … The Red Sox learned Ortiz won’t be suspended for destroying the phones in the Baltimore dugout with a bat after being ejected for complaining about a pair of called strikes on Saturday. …
Rays 3B Evan Longoria has an 11-game hitting streak, his third streak of the year of 10 or more games. … Doubront has allowed three runs or fewer in 18 of 19 starts, including his last 14, the longest streak by a Red Sox LHP starter since at least 1920. It matches the longest by a Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez in 2002. … The Rays, who lost the series finale against the New York Yankees on Sunday, haven’t lost back-to-back games since June.