Monday: Tampa Bay Rays 3, Boston Red Sox, 0
Win: Matt Moore (14-3) Loss: Brandon Workman (0-1)
In a pivotal series for both clubs, both teams knew that they had to be on their A-game if they wanted to claim American League East supremacy. In this edition of what has become a very competitive rivalry over the last few years, Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore was dominant. He allowed two hits in correlation with four strikeouts and a walk for his first career shutout and a complete game.
From an offensive perspective, Tampa Bay got the bats going early as former Red Sox James Loney hit a sacrifice fly to score Ben Zobrist and give the Rays an early 1-0 advantage. The run was part of what seemed to be early first-inning jitters for rookie Brandon Workman who was making his first ever start at Fenway Park.
The Rays did not score again until the fifth inning as once again, Loney was up to his old tricks, singling to right and scoring Yunel Escobar in the process while moving Zobrist to second base. However, the Rays were not able to bring Zobrist home and the Red Sox got out of the inning with no further damage.
The final blow on the part of the Rays came when Desmond Jennings hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Matt Joyce. The dominance of Moore combined with the Rays “small ball” style of play and their ability to make the most of their opportunities were just too much for the Local Nine to handle and the Rays took Game One by a 3-0 tally.
Tuesday: Tampa Bay Rays 2, Boston Red Sox, 6
Loss: Roberto Hernandez (5-11) Win: Jon Lester (9-6)
The Red Sox entered Tuesday’s game looking to even up the series and hold onto their lead in the American League East. With Jon Lester on the bump for Boston, there was certainly reason to be optimistic. Lester did not disappoint, giving up two runs and striking out eight in 6.1 innings of work.
Offensively, Boston was powered by the bat of rookie sensation Jose Iglesias who notched two RBI, while Dustin Pedroia, Mike Carp, and Stephen Drew each contributed one.
Tampa Bay received contributions from Will Myers and Evan Longoria via the longball , but they were not enough to power the Rays to victory.
Rays starter Roberto Hernandez took the loss, allowing seven hits and three earned runs in five innings of work as Boston took Game Two of the series by a 6-2 score.
Wednesday: Tampa Bay Rays 5, Boston Red Sox 1
Win: David Price (5-5) Loss: Felix Doubront (7-4)
With the Rays now having momentum after winning Tuesday night, they looked to best the Red Sox for the second night in a row. Led by rookie Will Myers (2 RBI), Luke Scott, Sean Rodriguez, and James Loney, the Rays tagged Felix Doubront for six hits and three earned runs in 6.2 innings pitched.
David Price pitched masterfully, giving up five hits and only one earned run while striking out four. The only blemish on the night came courtesy of Mike Napoli, who hit his 14th home run of the year in the seventh inning with one out. The final score was 5-1, and both teams would have to wait until the following Monday to finish the series off due to the originally scheduled finale being rained out.
Yesterday: Tampa Bay Rays 2, Boston Red Sox, 1
Win: David Price (6-5) Loss: Felix Doubront (7-5)
In a rematch of last Wednesday’s game, David Price took the hill opposite Felix Doubront as Boston tried to split the series. Once again, David Price pitched well, striking out eight and giving up two hits, surrendering only one run in 7.1 innings of work.
Offensively Tampa Bay was powered by Will Myers and Sean Rodriguez as both had an RBI. The lone run for the Red Sox came from Brandon Snyder when he hit a solo shot off Price to trim the deficit to one. For Snyder, that was his second of the year.
Perhaps the most pivotal play of the game was when Daniel Nava was called out at home plate on a laser throw from left fielder Sam Fuld. Red Sox manager John Farrell disagreed (and rightfully so) with the call and was ejected from the game. It was a disappointing end for the Red Sox in what was an otherwise entertaining series.
Boston begins a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners beginning tonight. Tonight’s first pitch is at 7:10 PM.