Rays lose to Red Sox again, 7-4, trail 0-2 in ALDS
The Rays joke and kid about how they always make things so difficult on themselves.
Well, they've done it again, losing 7-4 to the Red Sox on Saturday, to fall behind two games to none in the best-of-five American League Division Series.
And from the way the games have gone, it's no laughing matter.
David Price failed to deliver again on the post-season stage, the Rays defense was uncharecteristically sloppy for a second straight game and clutch hits are again at a premium as they hit into three double plays, leaving seven on.
When the series resumes Monday at sold-out Tropicana Field, the Rays will be back to must-win mode, with Alex Cobb on the mound again Clay Buchholz.
Of 22 teams that have falle behind 0-1 in ALDS play, only four have come back to win, most recently the 2003 Red Sox. Before that, the 2001 Yankees, the 1999 Red sox and the 1995 Mariners.
For all the good Price has done in his career, Saturday was his fourth post-season start and the fourth time he didn't win. He wasn't sharp early, and though he got better as the game went along, finished what could be his last start for the Rays - given the possibility of an off-season financially driven trade - with an ugly line, allowing seven runs on nine hits, including two home runs by David Ortiz.
Price came into the game coming off a tremendous start in Monday's tiebreaker in Texas, a 118-pitch complete game in which he allowed two runs on seven hits.
In a way Saturday, the Rays picked up where they left off on Friday, continuing to make uncharacteristic defensive mistakes and missed plays.
An errant throw by catcher Jose Molina in the first allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to go from first to third on a steal attempt, and he later scored on a sac fly.
Second baseman Ben Zobrist couldn't turn a double play in the third, leading to a run, due to a hard, aggressive slide by Shane Victorino.
Zobrist had issues trying again in the fourth, getting a late feed from Evan Longoria, who appeared to double-clutch, and then launching a throw that actually hit the Red Sox dugout wall and caromed back.
Leftfielder David DeJesus made it hurt worse when he couldn't catch Stephen Drew's drive against the vexing wall, Jonny Gomes scoring.
The Sox took the early lead, getting two in the first, on Dustin Pedroia's sac fly and David Ortiz's home run. After the Rays got one back, on a Delmon Young sac fly, the Sox got two more in the third - a legit double by David Ross, a blooper barely over third by Ellsbury, then a single and unsuccessful double play by the Rays. Zobrist's fourth-inning error led to a 5-1 Boston lead.
The Rays rallied to at least close the gap. They got two in fifth, on a double to deep center by James Loney after Yunel Escobar doubled and DeJesus was hit by a pitch. The Sox got another in the bottom of the fifth, on a single by Ellsbury and a double by Pedoria. Then the Rays got back within two again in the sixth, when Desmond Jennings singled and scored on Escobar's single.