Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Boston Red Sox blast Tampa Bay Rays 12-2

BOSTON — Of all that went wrong for the Rays in Friday's 12-2 loss to the Red Sox — and with former teammate Kelly Shoppach getting three hits, scoring three runs and stealing his first career base, there was plenty — the most disappointing had to be the performance of starter David Price, who lasted only three innings after throwing 83 pitches.

"Absolutely, it's unexpected," pitching coach Jim Hickey said. "You've seen David as long as I've seen him, and that's probably the first time that's ever happened where it's just been three innings of an extremely high pitch count."

Reassuring to the Rays (4-3) was that Price said he felt fine physically. Frustrating was that they felt he was throwing well. "David actually had really good stuff," manager Joe Maddon said. "He had a great fastball (Friday)."

So what was the issue?

Primarily, a lack of command of his fastball, as 36 of his 83 pitches were balls (after 47 of 107 were in his first start). "That's my biggest thing," Price said.

Beyond that, he didn't have much in the way of an explanation. "I felt good today, just didn't have it," Price said. "That's part of it. I'm going to have 33-34 starts this year, and there's going to be some starts where I don't have it. My body feels good, my arm feels good, it just wasn't there today."

Maddon decided he had seen enough after Price's third inning, a 39-pitch mess that started with Shoppach sticking his left arm into a 2-and-2 pitch — "That's one of his best plays," Maddon said — and ended with a 3-1 Boston lead.

"Once David didn't go back out, I kind of sensed it changed the feel," shortstop Reid Brignac said. "Obviously we want him to go five, six, seven, eight innings every time, but that's not going to happen."

As little as the Rays were doing against Sox starter Josh Beckett (three baserunners after a second-inning run), the game, thanks to three solid innings from Wade Davis, was actually close at 4-1, until the eighth. That's when relievers Joel Peralta, who Maddon acknowledged is "not comfortable yet," and Josh Lueke, who was demoted to Triple A after the game, combined to give up eight runs, turning the 101st opening day at Fenway Park into a celebration for the Red Sox.

"It was a good baseball game that went bad at the end," Maddon said.

The Rays felt their lack of offense (six hits total, ending with Ben Zobrist's ninth-inning homer) was more a result of bad luck (on Friday the 13th) on well-struck balls than bad hitting, though their approach was curious. They saw less than 10 pitches in four innings, including the fifth, sixth and seventh, and six hitters swinging at the first pitch.

"I was not displeased with our at-bats," Maddon said. "It was kind of a nonfortuitous day on our part."

And it was quite a day for Shoppach, who had only two three-hit games in two seasons with the Rays, as he stood in the Boston clubhouse holding the actual base he stole and is planning to have mounted in the sixth. His slide, almost 10 feet short of the bag, will long be a topic of conversation with his former teammates.

"It was awesome," he said. "I know those guys are happy for me to have a good day any time. It's a good group of guys, and I know they didn't want it to happen against them. But I made some good relationships over there, and I'm sure I'll get some text messages. I probably already have about some of the stuff that went on on the field."

It certainly was an unusual day, with Shoppach the prime topic.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Friday the 13th?

Some strange goings-on in Friday's Rays-Red Sox game:

• Rays LHP David Price lasts three innings, his shortest start since July 25, 2009.

• Sox C Kelly Shoppach, below, gets three hits (which he did only twice as a Ray), scores three times (which he never did), gets first steal of MLB career.

• Rays pitchers give up most runs (12) and hits (16) to Sox in five seasons.

• Rays outscored 12-1 after taking 1-0 lead.

• Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury hurts right shoulder in collision at second.

Boston Red Sox blast Tampa Bay Rays 12-2 04/13/12 [Last modified: Saturday, April 14, 2012 12:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Jake Faria had his lucky rubber duck — OG, the original one he has had since high school — with him, and the Rays had nothing to worry about as he put his rocky Wednesday outing well behind him, working into the eighth while scattering seven hits.

  3. Rays journal: Rookie Jacob Faria continues to show veteran poise

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles threatened in the first inning and the second. They loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning with the top of the order up and seemed poised for a big inning. But those opportunities produced only one run because Rays rookie RHP Jacob Faria kept his composure and got the …

    Jacob Faria goes a career-high 71/3 innings, staying composed when the Orioles threaten.
  4. Rays vs. Orioles, 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field


    Today: vs. Orioles

    12:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM

    Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field box office,, surcharge of up to $5 within 5 hours of game time.

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  5. Bruce Arena blends intense demands with humor to lead U.S. soccer


    SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Bruce Arena bites his fingernails religiously, a habit he has had since age 10.

    Among some other unmentionables.

    Bruce Arena