Price, Rays deal Red Sox fourth straight loss
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, front right, argues with home plate umpire Bill Miller, left, after taking a called strike for Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price during the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 25, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester delivers to the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 25, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price delivers to the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 25, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays' Evan Longoria, right, high-fives Ben Zobrist after hitting a three-run double off Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa during the seventh inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 25, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz, right, hits an RBI-single off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price during the sixth inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 25, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Red Sox's Dustin Pedroia scored on the hit. Rays catcher Jose Molina, left, looks on. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Boston Red Sox left fielder Jonny Gomes makes a sliding catch on a pop-out by Tampa Bay Rays' James Loney during the second inning of a baseball game on Friday, July 25, 2014, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – David Price and the Tampa Bay Rays are on quite a roll.
Price won his sixth start in a row, Evan Longoria hit a three-run double, and the Rays earned their eighth straight victory by beating the Boston Red Sox, 6-4, last night.
“A little bit of the swagger is back,” Tampa Bay Manager Joe Maddon said.
The Red Sox lost their fourth consecutive game.
Price (11-7) struck out 10 over eight innings. He tied the team record shared by Matt Moore and Scott Kazmir for victories in consecutive starts.
“Wonderful once again,” Maddon said.
This was Price’s first game against Boston since he hit David Ortiz with a fastball on May 30, setting off a verbal skirmish between the stars.
There was no trouble between them this time as Ortiz returned to the lineup one day after leaving a game because of back spasms.
“It’s feeling better,” Ortiz said. “After what we did last night and today when I got up and took some medication, it felt much better.”
Ortiz had words with plate umpire Bill Miller during an early strikeout, then hit an RBI single in a two-run sixth for a 3-2 Red Sox lead.
“It definitely felt good,” Price of striking out Ortiz. “He’s a tough out always.”
Price has pitched at least eight innings in eight of his last nine starts.
Ben Zobrist got his fourth hit, an RBI single that made it 3-all in the seventh. Later in the inning, Longoria delivered his go-ahead hit off Junichi Tazawa (1-2).
“We’ve won some games and we’ve done some things that kind of remind us of what we’re capable of, but by no means are we where we want to be,” Longoria said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Tampa Bay improved to three games under .500 for the first time since May 6.
Jake McGee gave up a run in the ninth but got his 10th save.
Desmond Jennings hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Boston starter Jon Lester for a 2-1 lead.
Lester gave up two runs and six hits in six innings. He had allowed just one earned run over 31 innings in his previous four starts.
“We made David work pretty hard, but he was able to get a lot more early-out counts than I was, and that’s why he was able to go a couple more innings,” Lester said.
The crowd greeted Ortiz with sustained booing before his first at-bat in the first. The fans then gave Price a partial standing ovation after Ortiz took a called third strike.
“Our fans were pretty hot,” Maddon said. “They came out with a little attitude. We dug it.”
Shane Victorino connected in the second for the 20th home run allowed this season by Price. Victorino also singled home Ortiz in the sixth.
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 4
Ichiro Suzuki homered for the first time since last August, prolonging extended slumps against New York for Mark Buehrle and Toronto.
Suzuki hit a go-ahead, three-run shot in the third inning, and the Yankees overcame an early deficit to beat the Blue Jays for their 17th straight home win against Toronto.
Jose Bautista hit two homers to reach 20 for the fifth straight season.
Royals 6, Indians 4
Pinch-hitter Billy Butler’s two-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning sent Kansas City over Cleveland for its fourth straight win.
Butler connected against John Axford, sending a drive over the Royals’ bullpen in left field. Butler was hitting just .200 in his previous 20 games with two RBI before pinch-hitting for Raul Ibanez.
White Sox 9, Twins 5
Jose Abreu hit his major league-leading 30th homer and drove in three runs, leading Chicago past Minnesota.
Abreu had two hits and scored twice. The Cuban rookie has 77 RBI – Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera began the day leading the majors with 80.
Alexei Ramirez and Tyler Flowers also homered for the White Sox.
Rangers 4, Athletics 1
Jerome Williams pitched six solid innings while becoming the team-record 31st pitcher used this season by Texas, and the Rangers beat AL West-leading Oakland.
Elvis Andrus had a triple among his two hits and scored twice for the Rangers.