Red Sox - 000 200 103 - 6 9 0 Rays - 000 000 002 - 2 5 1David Price was superb (8-2-0-2-8, 116), Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run home run in the ninth to put the game on ice, and Andrew Benintendi make a remarkable over-the-fence catch with no one out in the eighth inning, robbing Steven Souza of a home run - and then nearing tumbling over the wall with the ball in his glove - that would have cut Boston's lead at the time to 3-2.
Going, going... CAUGHT!!! https://t.co/93JWWcMVKq— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) August 23, 2016
The win put Boston into a first place tie with Toronto - both teams are 70-54.
Boston scored two runs in the fourth, but left the bases loaded so it still felt like a bit of a squander. With one out, Hanley Ramirez walked and Sandy Leon ground a single into right field. Chris Young smacked a first-pitch double into the left field corner that scored Ramirez. Aaron Hill walked to load the bases and Benintendi hit a sac fly to left. Dustin Pedroia walked, re-loading the bases and ending Blake Snell's night (3.2-4-2-5-3, 94 (including 40 in the partial fourth inning)). Xander Bogaerts ended the inning with a grounder to third.
Ramirez brought in a run in the seventh with a sac fly. In the ninth, Pedroia reached second on a throwing error by pitcher Danny Farquhar. Bogaerts then hit his 15th homer. After David Ortiz grounded out, Mookie Betts singled and Ramirez doubled. Leon nearly beat out an infield hit and Betts scored on the putout.
Matt Barnes pitched the ninth and gave up a two-run bomb to Evan Longoria.
Price did struggle a bit in the middle innings, throwing 23 pitches in each of the fifth and sixth innings. He needed only nine pitches in the seventh and then Benintendi saved his bacon in the eighth.
Ortiz doubled to deep center in the first inning, his 40th double of the season. It was also the 624th double of his career, tying Hank Aaron for 10th place all-time. Ortiz is sure to hit at least one more double this year and claim 10th place as his own (ninth place (Honus Wagner, 643) is not within reach).
Pedroia, 2BOutfielder Chris Young, after seven rehab games with Pawtucket, is back with the Red Sox. Henry Owens was optioned to the PawSox to make room on the 25-man roster. Young had been on the disabled list since June 24 with a right hamstring injury. Young has a 1.042 OPS against left-handers this season.
AND: 40 Years Ago Today: I went to Fenway Park for the first time!