Sox can't do anything with Price in 5-1 loss to Rays

Sox can't do anything with Price in 5-1 loss to Rays
July 24, 2013, 10:15 pm
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BOSTON - Felix Doubront nearly matched reigning Cy Young Award winner David Price pitch for pitch Wednesday night.

Except for the third inning.

Doubront allowed three runs in a messy third, while Price limited the Red Sox to a single run as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Red Sox 5-1, claiming their 19th win in the past 22 games to close back to within a half-game of the Sox in the AL East standings.

Tampa Bay took advantage of some sloppiness on the part of Doubront in the third. With a runner on first and one out, Doubront's errant pickoff throw to first enabled Desmond Jennings to take second.

After a single by Evan Longoria, Doubront appeared indecisive in fielding a sacrifice bunt try from Ben Zobrist, loading the bases.

A bloop single to center by Wil Myers scores two of the runners and when Doubront failed to keep Myers close at first, the Rays executed a double steal. That turned into a run when Luke Scott hit a sacrifice fly
to left.

The Sox managed just four hits off Price through the first six innings and two of them didn't leave the infield. In the seventh, Mike Napoli cranked a homer into the Monster Seats for his third homer in the past four games.

That was the extent of the Red Sox' offense for the night, however, as they had just one other runner reach scoring position.

Price recorded the second nine-inning complete game of the season against the Red Sox. The other came Monday night from teammate Matt Moore.

Doubront was lifted after a two-out walk in the seventh, but extended his streak of restricting the opposition to three earned runs or less to 13 consecutive outings.

The Rays bunched together three straight singles off lefty Matt Thornton to pad two more runs in the eighth.

STAR OF THE GAME: David Price    
Price was masterful, tossing a complete game while allowing just one run -- and needing only 97 pitches to finish the job.
He allowed five hits -- two of them never left the infield -- and didn't issue a walk.
The rookie outfielder continues to impress. After hitting a solo homer Tuesday night, he added a walk in the first, a two-run single in the third and another single in the eighth.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Matt Thornton
Maybe it didn't matter in the big picture, but the veteran lefty reliever continues to struggle. After getting a force out on the first hitter he faced in the eighth, he gave up three straight singles -- including two to lefties -- that produced two insurance runs for the Rays.

TURNING POINT: In retrospect, it would have been interesting to see how the third inning would have turned out differently had not Jonny Gomes muffed a low liner hit by Desmond Jennings. If Gomes had caught it, the Rays might not have gone on to score three runs in that inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: In the first 100 games, no opposing starter had tossed a nine-inning complete game against the Red Sox. In this series, it's happened twice in the last three games.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I thought tonight he was as sharp as he's been. He just went up against a very good pitcher.'' -Red Sox manager John Farrell on Felix Doubront.