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Rays 5, Red Sox 1: Dominant David Price goes the distance

David Price pitched and the Red Sox lost.


This one is easily summed up:

David Price pitched and the Red Sox lost.

On Monday, Red Sox fans were treated to a torturous night of Matt Moore domination. Tonight was more of the same. If David Price was not quite as completely untouchable as Moore, he was far more efficient, getting through three of the first four innings on single-digit pitch counts. If the Sox had some long fly balls and a few more hits, no baserunner be he on first, second, or third seemed like a significant threat given how likely it was that the next batter would ground out or strike out.

It didn't help that the Tampa Bay's defense turned some serious plays behind him, in particular Yunel Escobar showing some excellent range to rob Dustin Pedroia of a base hit up the middle and then making a behind-the-back flip to second to actually start a double play. If Price built Boston's coffin, his defense drove in the final nail.

That holds true at least for Boston's offense. But of course the Rays had to score runs too. And here the blame falls not on Felix Doubront, but on Jonny Gomes and one miserable bit of defense.

The third inning was not Felix' best. Of this there's no doubt. He gave up some solid contact, and threw a pickoff attempt away, earning himself an error. But it was Jonny Gomes who took a ball hit right to him with one out and turned it into what was ridiculously called a "hit". In the process of letting the ball land in for a hit, Gomes first misread the ball, running away from it towards the wall, then got himself completely turned around before making a late lunging attempt back in towards the infield. Obviously the catch was not made, and the Rays had a baserunner.

After that it was a single, the error from Doubront, a safety squeeze which gave Tampa another free baserunner with Desmond Jennings wisely holding up at third, a bloop single back of second base, and a sacrifice fly. A three-run inning which could have been two, one, or even zero but for Gomes making a mess of things on what should have been a routine play.

The final score would be a little more lopsided with Pedro Beato and Matt Thornton (mostly Thornton) combining to allow a couple more in late. But this game comes down to two things: a should-have-been error in left from Jonny Gomes, and an incredible performance from David Price, marred only by a Mike Napoli home run. That's why the Rays won, the Red Sox lost, and tomorrow's game is, once again, for the division lead.

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