Red Sox - 120 000 001 - 4 6 0 Rays - 010 001 000 - 2 6 0Boston tagged Price (5-5-3-5-5, 106) for three runs within a span of 10 batters in the first two innings and Buchholz and three relievers made that stand up, as the Red Sox completed a 8-1 road trip.
With one out in the first, Dustin Pedroia worked an eight-pitch walk. Adrian Gonzalez doubled to right, Kevin Youkilis was hit in the left shoulder (prompting warnings to both teams) to load the bases, and David Ortiz walked to force in a run.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia doubled off the wall in right-center with one out in the second and scored on Darnell McDonald's single to center. Pedroia followed with an opposite-field double, scoring McDonald and giving the Sox a 3-0 lead. Price threw 63 pitches in the first two innings (33 and 30).
Tampa got a run back when B.J. Upton walked, stole second and scored on Sam Fuld's double. After Buchholz (5-2-1-3-5, 81) departed with tightness in his lower back, Alfredo Aceves allowed a solo shot to Casey Kotchman. Daniel Bard got the final out of the seventh and pitched a perfect eighth.
Gonzalez's solo home run in the ninth - a line drive to right field - gave the Red Sox a two-run cushion. In addition to his double in the first, Evil Bert also walked twice.
In the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon allowed a leadoff double to Kotchman and an infield single to Upton. Kotchman had to stay at second, so Elliot Johnson was sent up to bunt. He popped the first pitch up into foul territory on the left side where Youkilis made a diving catch. Bot then struck out pinch-hitter Justin Ruggiano (on three pitches) and Sean Rodriguez (on a full count splitter).
Jed Lowrie may have re-injured his shoulder during his first inning at-bat. He struck out on a 1-2 pitch and was grimacing on his way back to the dugout. Marco Scutaro took the field in the bottom of the first.
The Yankees remain 1.5 GB, but the Rays have slipped to 5.5 GB and the Blue Jays are 7.5 GB.
Clay Buchholz / David Price
WEEI has a cool interview with Terry Francona, which was shortly before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
How different are Game 7s from just any other big playoff game?AL East: Orioles/Blue Jays at 12:30 PM and Rangers/Yankees at 1 PM.
We've had so many elimination games since I've been here that those are obviously every bit as important, because if you don't win those you don't get to Game 7. Speaking truthfully, and I really mean this ... I'm so much more relaxed once we get there and are able to enjoy it.
We've talked about Dave Roberts stealing and it all looked like it was in slow motion and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I never once, for one minute, thought he'd be thrown out. I just really love it. You just work so hard to get there. It's not like I don't care. It's not like I don't get nervous. ...
You can't change how you're built. Sometimes you'd like to. I just really enjoy it. ... [P]art of it's probably because of the faith I have in our players, and we do a lot of preparation, so I get more relaxed. ...
I remember back in '07 when we were in Denver ... when the security guy wouldn't let Pedey in the ballpark - "Hey I'm really a player," and the guy said, "Nah. Show me your ID." And he said something like, "Go ask Jeff Francis who I am." Pedey came in that day, he had a lather going and he was all worked up. I remember thinking, "Boy I don't want this to be over. I mean, I want to win, but I'm not ready to go home."