Yesterday, Rick Porcello pitched eight great innings and got a loss out of it. Today, David Price limited the Rays to two runs and he could not get the win. Price got off to a rough first, allowing the Rays to tie the game after the Red Sox scored once in the first. After that though, the southpaw only allowed one run while scattering three hits and two walks over the next five innings he pitched. Today’s outing marks the fourth consecutive time Price has gone out and had a quality start. Unfortunately for Price, he got hit with some bad luck, from the Red Sox bats as well as the bullpen. In the first six innings, the Red Sox only scored once, but a two-run seventh which gave them the lead made it look like Price was going to get his fifth win. But in the bottom half of the inning, Matt Barnes allowed a walk, a sac bunt, and a single, putting the tying run at third with only one out. Joe Kelly would come in and he would get the final two outs. In the eighth, Kelly’s streak of scoreless appearances would end as Brad Miller took the righty deep, driving in the go-ahead run as well as himself and giving the Rays the 5-3 lead. Not a good day for the ‘pen, for as good as the numbers look, I still find it hard to have confidence in them in any big game situation. Matt Barnes currently owns a 5.91 ERA in 21.1 IP while pitching on the road. I haven’t heard anything about Carson Smith for a while, so I assume Dave Dombrowski will be on the look out for veteran relievers over the next three weeks.
Surprisingly, the three runs the Red Sox scored all came on home runs. The first one came in the first, as Mookie Betts hit his eleventh career lead-off home run, passing Jacoby Ellsbury for most in Red Sox history. The second home run appeared to be clutch at the time it was hit. Trailing by one in the top of the seventh, Dustin Pedroia took Chris Archer deep for his fourth long ball of the season. There were plenty of times when the Red Sox had runners on base with only one or fewer outs, but nothing could be done with the twenty base runners who were left on base.
A frustrating way to end the first half to say the least. Now the Rays are only 3.5 games out of first place along with the Yankees. No more meaningful games until Friday against those Yankees. Chris Sale and Mookie Betts are starting for the American League on Tuesday, so I’m looking forward to that.
50 down, ? to go.