Fortune did not appear to be on the side of the Red Sox entering today’s game. While John Lackey (10-13, 3.52) has been no slouch in 2013, they were facing David Price– who has stifled the Red Sox in 2013, pitching to 2.48 ERA in 5 starts. Price had been dominant in the Rays’ game 163 on Monday, looking every bit the dominant foe that the Red Sox have grown used to facing and fearing. However, not only did the Red Sox win today, they knocked Price around– scoring 7 runs against the lanky left-hander in Game Two of the 2013 ALDS.
The Red Sox were locked into Price from the start. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to start the ballgame, then stole second and advanced to third on an error all with no outs. He would score on a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia, and then a David Ortiz home run would give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the very first inning. The tide looked like it could have turned after the Rays scored once and the Red Sox went down 1-2-3 in the second inning, but it did not.
David Ross and Ellsbury knocked back-to-back doubles to start the third inning, and a fielder’s choice from Dustin Pedroia gave the Red Sox an early 4-1 advantage, augmented by a fourth inning RBI triple from Stephen Drew.
Sitting at 5-1, however, things got a bit rough for the Red Sox in the fifth inning. John Lackey had been doing his best Houdini impression throughout the first four innings, allowing only one run despite three hits and two walks, but the baserunners finally caught up to him in the fifth. The Rays had runners at first and second with two outs when James Loney cracked a high fly ball off the deepest part of the Green Monster for a two-run double to cut the Red Sox lead to 5-3.
The Red Sox and Rays exchanged single runs over the next couple of innings, with John Lackey being removed with a 6-4 lead in the sixth inning. Craig Breslow came in to finish the sixth, and got through a scoreless seventh as well before handing the ball off to Junichi Tazawa, who threw a scoreless eighth. After the Red Sox got an insurance run on David Ortiz’s second homer of the game in the ninth, Koji Uehara finished the game off with 11 pitches– all of them strikes– in a perfect inning. The Red Sox will look to wrap up an ALDS sweep on Monday with Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74) scheduled to pitch against Alex Cobb (11-3, 2.76).