The Red Sox offense continues to roll, as they’ve now scored 19 runs in the first two games of this division series.
The Sox instantly put the pressure on David Price, scoring 2 runs in the first inning. Jacoby Ellsbury blooped a single into right field. Ellsbury would follow-up with a stolen base. The release by Jose Molina was quick, but the throw sailed into the outfield allowing Ellsbury to advance to third. Two batters later, Dustin Pedroia would drive home Ellsbury with a sacrifice fly to center, putting the Sox up 1-0. The next batter would be David Ortiz, who would take a hanging cutter into the bullpen to extend the lead to 2-0.
The Red Sox continued to push the throttle throughout the early part game. David Ross led off the third inning with a high fly ball off the green monster, followed by a 100 foot double by Jacoby Ellsbury on a bloop that sailed just over the head of Evan Longoria, who was playing in. David Ross would hustle around to score on the play, making it 3-0. After Shane Victorino singled on a ground ball through 5.5 hole on the left side of the infield, Dustin Pedroia would drive home Ellsbury on a ground out. Pedroia was credited with the RBI only because Victorino took out Zobrist at second base. The score was now 4-0 in favor of Boston.
Mike Napoli would lead off the 4th inning with a walk after Price was unable to locate his fastball outside. The Rays’ trend of shoddy defense would continue as Ben Zobrist airmailed a throw on what should have been a routine double play hit by Jonny Gomes. Stephen Drew would make the Rays pay for the error with an RBI triple, coincidentally misplayed by David DeJesus.
Through the 4 innings, everything was going perfectly. The offense had scored 5 runs against the Rays’ ace and John Lackey was on a roll, having struck out 5. A James Loney 2 run double would dampen the mood, but only temporarily, as Dustin Pedroia would drive home Jacoby Ellsbury with an RBI double to get back a run. The score was now 6-3, and David Price was seemingly on the ropes. John Lackey would begin the 6th, but would be pulled in favor of Craig Breslow after allowing Yunel Escobar to drive home Desmond Jennings, making the score 6-4. Breslow would retire pinch hitters Matt Joyce and Sean Rodriguez.
Meanwhile, David Price surprisingly came out for the 6th inning. The 6th inning was the worst offensive inning of the night for Boston, as they were retired 1-2-3, seeing only 8 pitches, 5 of which came during Ross’ at bat with 2 outs.
Breslow stayed in for the bottom of the 7th. After getting Wil Myers to ground out, Breslow would fall into trouble. Breslow hit James Loney with a fastball and walked Evan Longoria on 7 pitches. With the tying run on base, Farrell stayed with Breslow to face Ben Zobrist, who had struck out twice looking on inside fastballs by John Lackey. Farrell’s trust in Breslow would be rewarded, as Pedroia helped turn a great 6-4-3 double play to get out of the jam.
Price came out for the 7th inning and continued to mow down Boston hitters. After 5 innings of struggling, Price seemed to have finally found out groove. Price struck out Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia in his 1-2-3 inning.
Red Sox fans were expecting Koji Uehara to come on for the 6 out save, but instead we were greeted with Junichi Tazawa. After Delmon Young singled off of Tazawa’s 2nd consecutive curveball, fans were beginning to clamor for Koji. But, Tazawa was able to induce a double play ball to get out of the jam.
David Price surprisingly came out for the 8th inning to face David Ortiz. Price’s velocity was down in the 92-93 MPH range by this point. Ortiz would make Joe Maddon regret this decision, as he launched a bomb deep into the left field seats. The barely fair home run traveled 387 home feet (per @ESPNStatsInfo). Koji Uehara came on for the bottom of the 9th and was a swing and a miss away from completing an immaculate inning. Uehara struck out Matt Joyce and Jose Lobaton on three pitches and got Wil Myers to ground out, locking up the win.
- Price wasn’t as bad as his line suggests. Jacoby Ellsbury’s first 2 hits were a product of BABIP luck. Stephen Drew’s triple should’ve been held to a double but was badly misplayed by David DeJesus. This wasn’t vintage David Price by any means, but he didn’t deserve the 7 earned runs he was charged with.
- David Ortiz had the first two home run postseason game of his career. Just another great postseason milestone for a great player with a great postseason legacy.
- John Lackey ran into a bump while he was making his way through the Rays’ lineup for the third time. This was not something Lackey was used to throughout the season, as hitters only hit .237/.288/.377 off him the third time through the lineup. This is a strange split, considering that teams hit .286/.327/.490 off him the second time through. This could be something to watch in later starts.
The Red Sox will look for the sweep on Monday at Tampa where they’ll throw out Clay Buchholz against Alex Cobb. Buchholz only has 1 postseason start on his resume, game 3 of the 2009 ALDS where he faced off against Scott . Buchholz worked 5 innings against the Angels, striking out 3, walking 1, and allowing 2 runs. Bard was relieved by Daniel Bard and Billy Wagner.