Final, Rays 5-1: David Price capped an excellent pitching performance with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Price completely shut down the Red Sox’ offense. The left-hander’s only blemish came on a home run by Mike Napoli in the seventh inning, and the Rays cruised to a 5-1 victory.
Price surrendered just the one run on five hits while striking out four. He didn’t walk a batter, as he pounded the strike zone throughout the entire game. Price threw 97 pitches in the complete-game effort, 72 of which were strikes.
Price’s complete game is Tampa’s second of the series, as Matt Moore also went the distance on Monday.
The Red Sox will now look to salvage a split of the series in what is a big series finale. Thursday’s game will determine which team exits the series with the division lead, as Boston’s lead is down to half a game following Wednesday’s loss.
Good night, everyone.
Mid 9th, Rays 5-1: Like the Rays, the Red Sox have played pretty good defense in this game. Boston just doesn’t have the offense to go along with it.
Ben Zobrist singled into left-center field with one out in the ninth inning, but Stephen Drew and Jose Iglesias made a pair of nice plays in the frame.
Drew made a good play ranging up the middle to retire Evan Longoria for the second out, and Iglesias used his bare hand to field Luke Scott’s little roller down to third base for the final out.
David Price will come back out for the ninth inning looking for a complete game. It would be Tampa Bay’s second of the series, as Matt Moore also went all nine innings Monday.
Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz are due up for the Red Sox in the ninth.
End 8th, Rays 5-1: David Price has been in total control throughout this game.
The Rays ace twirled another 1-2-3 inning in the eighth, and Tampa Bay will carry a four-run lead into the ninth inning.
Price has definitely gotten some help from his defense. Jarrod Saltalamacchia drilled a ground ball up the middle to begin the eighth inning, and Ben Zobrist picked it with a slick backhanded play.
Price then struck out Jose Iglesias swinging, and Jacoby Ellsbury flied out to left field for the final out.
Drake Britton will now enter the game for Boston.
Mid 8th, Rays 5-1: The Red Sox had a chance to generate some momentum after Mike Napoli’s home run. Instead, the Rays seized the momentum right back.
Wil Myers drilled a line drive with one out. Stephen Drew leaped to make a play, but the ball deflected off the tip of his glove and into left field for a single.
Matt Thornton entered the game for Pedro Beato at that point, and he struggled after nearly getting out of the inning.
Luke Scott grounded to second base, where Dustin Pedroia tried to kick off an inning-ending double play. The ball was hit too softly, though, and Scott was able to beat out Drew’s throw to keep the inning alive.
The Rays went on to smack three straight singles off Thornton after that. James Loney drove in Tampa’s fourth run with a single into right field, and Jose Molina plated the Rays’ fifth run with a base hit into left field.
End 7th, Rays 3-1: It starts with one.
The Red Sox finally got onto the scoreboard in the seventh inning. Mike Napoli took David Price deep with one out in the inning, and Boston’s deficit is now two runs.
Napoli jumped on a 1-0 fastball from Price. It was Napoli’s 14th home run of the season and his third in four games.
Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew each popped out following Napoli’s one-out blast. Evan Longoria made a nice play to track down Drew’s popup near the railing of the Rays’ dugout.
Mid 7th, Rays 3-0: Felix Doubront is on the hook.
Doubront exited with two outs in the seventh inning, and he’ll need the Red Sox’ offense to score some runs to avoid his fourth loss of the season.
Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar both grounded out to Stephen Drew for the first two outs of the seventh. Desmond Jennings then walked, and that spelled the end of Doubront’s night.
Doubront was replaced by Pedro Beato, who got Evan Longoria to fly out to Shane Victorino in right field.
Doubront surrendered three earned runs on six hits in his 6 2/3 innings of work. He struck out five and walked two while throwing 104 pitches (66 strikes).
End 6th, Rays 3-0: Pitching and defense. You can’t overstate the importance of either, and the Rays have done both well in this game.
Jose Iglesias and Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to second base and shortstop, respectively, for the first two outs. Both Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar have been impressive thus far.
Shane Victorino then dropped down a bunt that Evan Longoria fielded barehanded. Victorino beat out Longoria’s throw, though.
David Price — as he’s done all night — rebounded before anything materialized. He retired Dustin Pedroia on a groundball back to the mound.
Mid 6th, Rays 3-0: Felix Doubront hasn’t been bad. He’s just been outpitched.
Luke Scott singled with one out in the sixth, but Doubront otherwise enjoyed another nice inning.
After Scott singled, Sean Rodriguez popped out to Mike Napoli, who made the grab while standing right next to the first base bag.
Doubront struck out James Loney to end the inning. Doubront threw Loney three straight fastballs, with the third one registering at 93 mph on the radar gun.
End 5th, Rays 3-0: Mike Napoli lifted a double down the right field line, and the Red Sox squared up some balls in the fifth inning. They don’t have anything to show for it.
Napoli led off by lifting a fly ball down toward Pesky’s Pole. Wil Myers gave chase, but he couldn’t catch up to it, and the ball bounced on the warning track and up into the seats for a ground-rule double.
Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew then smacked a pair of balls to center field, but Desmond Jennings was there in each instance to record an out.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia flied out to right field to end the inning, stranding Napoli in scoring position at second base.
Speaking of Pesky’s Pole, if you’re interested in learning about some of Fenway Park’s other unique features, I encourage you to drop by BostonFanFavorites.com.
Mid 5th, Rays 3-0: Felix Doubront enjoyed a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth.
Desmond Jennings was Doubront’s first victim. He struck out swinging on what looked to be a cutter.
Evan Longoria then grounded out to his counterpart down at third base, and Ben Zobrist flied out to Jacoby Ellsbury in center field.
End 4th, Rays 3-0: Wow.
The Rays just turned a highlight-reel double play, and that just seems like the appropriate response.
Shane Victorino reached to begin the fourth inning. He hit a grounder into the hole. Yunel Escobar tracked it down, but his throw to first base was too late and brought James Loney off the bag.
It was a nice effort by Escobar, but not nearly as nice as his effort on Dustin Pedroia’s ground ball up the middle.
Pedroia hit what looked to be a seeing-eye single. Escobar had other plans, though. He ranged up the middle to make the play, and he then flipped the ball behind his back with his glove. Ben Zobrist fielded the flip with his bare hand and fired to first to complete the double play. Sensational all around.
David Ortiz flied out down the right field line to end the inning.
Mid 4th, Rays 3-0: The Molinas have to be one of the slowest families on the planet, right?
After James Loney singled to lead off the fourth inning, Jose Molina dropped down what the Rays hoped would be a sacrifice bunt. It ended in a double play.
Felix Doubront came off the mound to field Molina’s bunt, and he fired to second base for the first out. Stephen Drew then made an extremely quick turn to complete the double play.
Jose Iglesias made another excellent defensive play down at third base to end the inning. Yunel Escobar hit a hard ground ball that Iglesias picked while sliding. Iglesias then tossed across the diamond to first base, where Mike Napoli made a nice play to field the throw on a hop.
End 3rd, Rays 3-0: David Price is cruising right along, and he now has the added luxury of doing so with a lead.
Price twirled another 1-2-3 inning in the third. All three outs were groundouts.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Jose Iglesias grounded to shortstop and third base, respectively. Jacoby Ellsbury then hit a bouncer back to the mound, and Price fielded his position well for the second time in this game.
Mid 3rd, Rays 3-0: The Rays jumped ahead in a rather strange inning.
Desmond Jennings, who struck out in his first at-bat, hit a line drive to left field with one out. Jonny Gomes didn’t have a good read on it, as he ran back thinking that the ball had a chance to get over his head. Gomes had to come back in, and he couldn’t make a diving grab. Jennings reached with a single.
Felix Doubront then fired an errant pickoff attempt to first base that allowed Jennings to move up into scoring position, and Evan Longoria singled to put runners at first and third.
Ben Zobrist dropped down a bunt in a safety squeeze. Jennings made it about halfway down the third base line before tossing on the brakes. He retreated to third base, but by the time Jarrod Saltalamacchia corralled Zobrist’s bunt, the Red Sox catcher didn’t have a play anywhere.
Wil Myers, who continues to swing the bat well, then dropped a blooper into center field that plated two runs. Luke Scott added a run with a sacrifice fly to left.
End 2nd, 0-0: David Ortiz led off the inning with a single, but David Price rebounded to retire three straight.
Price, who recorded two strikeouts in the first inning, picked up two more strikeouts in the second inning.
Price struck out Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes before snagging a hard comebacker off the bat of Stephen Drew.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Dustin Pedroia is being tested in his first game since signing his new contract.
Pedroia recorded three assists in the second inning, and two of them came on hard-hit balls by the Rays.
Sean Rodriguez led off by hammering a ground ball back up the middle. It looked destined for center field, but Pedroia picked it on the backhand and fired to first for the out.
Pedroia then fielded a hot smash off the bat of James Loney for the second out, and he took care of Jose Molina’s grounder for the third out.
End 1st, 0-0: David Price needed just a third of the pitches that Felix Doubront threw to get through his first inning.
Price tossed a 1-2-3 inning to kick off his night. He finished it by striking out the new $110 million man, Dustin Pedroia.
Before Pedroia struck out looking, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino both grounded out to short.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Felix Doubront was forced to throw 27 pitches in the first inning, but he kept the Rays off the scoreboard.
Doubront struck out the first two hitters he faced. Desmond Jennings went down swinging, and Evan Longoria struck out looking.
Doubront entered Wednesday’s contest averaging 8.37 strikeouts per nine innings this season, which is the eighth-highest mark among major league left-handers. It’s the 13th-best mark among all American League pitchers.
The lefty ran into some trouble after the back-to-back K’s, though. Ben Zobrist singled into right field, and rookie Wil Myers walked on nine pitches.
Doubront bounced back from the lengthy, losing effort against Myers to retire Luke Scott, who grounded into the shift on the right side of the infield.
7:11 p.m.: Felix Doubront’s first pitch is up high for a ball. We’re underway at an 82-degree Fenway Park.
6:20 p.m.: Wednesday’s lineups are below.
Red Sox (61-41)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Felix Doubront, LHP (7-3, 3.76 ERA)
Desmond Jennings, CF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Ben Zobrist, 2B
Wil Myers, RF
Luke Scott, DH
Sean Rodriguez, LF
James Loney, 1B
Jose Molina, C
Yunel Escobar, SS
David Price, LHP (4-5, 4.03 ERA)
4:30 p.m.: It’s official. The Red Sox announced that they have signed Dustin Pedroia to an eight-year contract extension. The new deal will begin in 2014 and take Pedroia through his 2021 season.
8 a.m. ET: The Red Sox’ most redeeming quality this season has been their ability to bounce back. They did it again Tuesday.
The Red Sox were completely shut down by Matt Moore on Monday, as they only mustered up two hits while the Rays cruised to a victory. Boston flexed its muscle Tuesday, though, taking down Roberto Hernandez and Co., 6-2.
Felix Doubront will take the ball Wednesday, and he’s been fantastic of late. The 25-year-old southpaw is 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA over his last six starts, and he’s given up two earned runs or fewer in each of those six contests. His 2.59 ERA in his last 12 starts is the best mark among American League left-handers in that span.
Doubront will go up against a much more highly decorated lefty. David Price will toe the rubber for Tampa, and he’s been excellent since coming back from the disabled list. The 27-year-old is 3-1 with a 1.97 ERA in his four starts since returning, and his resurgence has rubbed off on the entire club. The Rays are 15-3 overall since Price’s return.
Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com.