BOSTON -- If the Red Sox didn't know how good the Rays pitching staff was before this series, they certainly do now, as they were once again shutdown by a Rays left-hander, this time David Price in the Rays' 5-1 win over the Red Sox Wednesday night at Fenway Park. This comes after Matt Moore also pitched a complete game Monday night.
Price was dominant all game long as he threw a complete game allowing just one run on five hits while striking out four. The only runner Price allowed to reach second base was Mike Napoli, who did it twice, a double in the fifth and a solo home run in the seventh. Napoli's two hits along with Shane Victorino (two hits) led the offense as they were shutdown for the second time in three games.
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"He was throwing strikes all night long," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Price. "Until the sixth inning he was right around 80 percent strikes, which is almost unheard of. Power stuff, stayed out of the middle of the plate and with the exception of [Napoli's] homerun, he never gave us a chance to build any kind of inning and tip your cap, he pitched a heck of a game against us."
Despite being out pitched by Price, Red Sox starter Felix Doubront pitched another solid game. He would have been right there with the defending AL Cy Young winner if not for a rough third inning where the Rays scored three times, with an error on a pickoff attempt, poor attention to a baserunner and a misplay on a bunt all taking place in that inning. Overall, Doubront went 6 2/3 innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking two. He got stronger as the game went on as he retired 12 of the last 14 hitters he faced.
The bullpen wasn't as good as it's been the past few nights as Matt Thornton struggled in particular as he allowed three hits in 2/3 of an inning of work allowing one run of his own and then another inherited runner to score as the Rays scored two runs in the eighth inning to pull away. Pedro Beato was charged with a run also in 2/3 of an inning of work. Drake Britton came on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning.
The four-game series will wrap up tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) where John Lackey will take to the mound and be opposed by Jeremy Hellickson.
What they'll be saying: The Red Sox offense was once again shut down by another quality pitcher in Price. Their offense is skidding a bit of late as they have scored two runs or less in five of their last eight games and in their last 11 games against teams with winning records the they have averaged just 3.09 runs per game, going 4-7 in that stretch ... With his home run in the seventh inning, to go along with a double earlier in the game, Napoli is swinging a hot bat of late. He has five home runs in his last 14 games, and is hitting .393 with three doubles, a triple, three home runs and 5 RBIs in his last eight games.