The Boston Red Sox posted two runs against lefty David Price in the first inning on Saturday and never looked back, going on to a 7-4 victory at Fenway Park in Game 2 of the ALDS.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to lead off the bottom of the first. He then proceeded to steal second base but was able to advance all the way to third on Rays catcher Jose Molina's throwing error. After a Shane Victorino groundout, Dustin Pedroia drove in Ellsbury on a sacrifice fly to center. David Ortiz came up next and launched a solo shot to right to give the Red Sox an early 2-0 lead.
MLB.com tweeted out video of Ortiz's blast:
Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweeted this about the 37-year-old slugger:
David Ortiz is hitting like a man who can play this game for a whole lot more years. 2-0 #RedSox.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 5, 2013
In the top of the second inning, the Rays responded. After Ben Zobrist walked and Desmond Jennings singled him to third, the second baseman was able to score on a Delmon Young sacrifice fly.
Things began to unravel for Price and the Rays in the third inning, though. David Ross doubled to lead off the inning, then Ellsbury added a double of his own to bring him home. Victorino singled Ellsbury to third before Pedroia's groundout scored the speedy center fielder.
Igor Derysh of XN Sports tweeted:
Rays-Red Sox, Groundhog day. Those weird outfield and foul territory hops are killing the Rays. Price/Moore still giving up hard hit balls.— Igor Derysh (@IgorDerysh) October 5, 2013
It was more of the same in the fourth inning. With Jonny Gomes standing on second base following a throwing error by Ben Zobrist, Stephen Drew tripled Gomes home.
Price came into the game with a 2.48 ERA against the Red Sox in 2013. That included allowing just three runs in 22.1 innings at Fenway Park. But the Red Sox got to the lefty early on Saturday, proving that their offense can only be kept under wraps for so long.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Rays showed some life. After Yunel Escobar doubled and David DeJesus was hit by a pitch, James Loney doubled both of them home. At that point, the Rays were only trailing 5-3.
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal tweeted:
Lackey goes curveball-changeup-slider to Loney, results in a two-run double. He's thrown Loney just two fastballs in three at-bats.— Brian MacPherson (@brianmacp) October 5, 2013
But Boston's high-octane offense naturally responded in the bottom of the frame, as Pedroia doubled home Ellsbury. It marked the third straight inning the Red Sox had scored on Price, but Rays manager Joe Maddon seemed determined to keep the lefty in the game.
Of course, the Rays weren't going to go down without a fight. They scratched across another run in the sixth inning after Escobar singled home Jennings. It signaled the end of Boston starter John Lackey's night.
Adam Gold of ESPN's The Fan tweeted:
Red Sox haven't gotten that one key knock to blow this open, and the Rays are still here. Lackey is toast, and done.— Adam Gold (@AGoldFan) October 5, 2013
But the Red Sox coasted from there, as Ortiz added insult to injury with another bomb against Price in the eighth inning, at which point Maddon finally gave Price the hook..
Price ended up allowing seven earned runs in seven innings, allowing nine hits and two walks in the process. It was a miserable night for the 2012 AL Cy Young winner.
The Red Sox showed on Saturday why they were the top offense in the American League during the regular season. They Rays will need to figure out how to slow them down if they have any chance of extending the series beyond Game 3, which is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 7 at 6:07 p.m. ET.
|David DeJesus LF||C|
|Wil Myers RF||F|
|James Loney 1B||A|
|Evan Longoria 3B||C+|
|Ben Zobrist 2B||D-|
|Desmond Jennings CF||B+|
|Delmon Young DH||C+|
|Yunel Escobar SS||A|
|Jose Molina C||D-|
|Sean Rodriguez PH||C-|
|David Price SP||F|
|Jacoby Ellsbury CF||A|
|Shane Victorino RF||C|
|Dustin Pedroia 2B||A|
|David Ortiz DH||A|
|Mike Napoli 1B||C|
|Jonny Gomes LF||C+|
|Will Middlebrooks 3B||C|
|Stephen Drew SS||C+|
|David Ross C||C+|
|John Lackey SP||C-|
Player of the Game: Jacoby Ellsbury, CF, Boston Red Sox
Will the Red Sox sweep the Rays?
Jacoby Ellsbury was a spark plug on Saturday.
The 30-year-old outfielder went 3-for-4 with one RBI, three runs and one stolen base. He set the tone from the start, singling to open the bottom of the first inning and getting Price into the stretch right away.
Ellsbury is now 5-for-9 with two RBI, four runs and two stolen bases in two postseason games this year. If he continues on this pace, it's going to be difficult for anyone to slow down Boston's offense, especially given the talent backing Ellsbury up.