Friday, November 17, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Monster mash

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Red Sox RF Shane Victorino said that if you're not used to playing in Fenway Park, it can "haunt you," and favorable bounces off the Green Monster continued to hurt the Rays Saturday. In the fourth inning, LF David DeJesus raced back and leaped at the wall for a Stephen Drew fly ball, which took a big carom off the AL East standings board. By the time DeJesus retrieved it, a run had scored and Drew was on third base. "I went up and I thought I had a shot at it," DeJesus said. "It just hit a little bit above my glove. We had (their No. 9 hitter) coming up next, and I was like, 'Let's make a try, try to stop it right here.'" This came one day after Sean Rodriguez had some problems with odd bounces off the monster, with manager Joe Maddon saying the Red Sox are taking advantage of their park's "quirks." "It's been like that all series," DeJesus said. "It's been hitting it and taking off. It's been unfortunate, they've had three or four of those, where in our park, it'd be a catch. That's why they play here, that's part of the game, and they've been using it."

Twitter talk

We just went through a week of backs to the wall. Boston is lovely this time of year — looking forward to coming back in a couple days.

@RaysJoe Maddon

Papi pops Price

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz entered Saturday having never homered off LHP David Price in 42 career plate appearances. But Ortiz hit two big ones Saturday, with one in the first inning and another to lead off the eighth, on Price's final pitch. Ortiz said Price's fastball "wasn't like it used to be," suggesting the Cy Young winner's complete game Monday might have taken something out of him. "It wasn't a bad fastball, but not 96-98, like he's used to," Ortiz said. "It wasn't like you normally expect." Price didn't expect Ortiz to stand in the box and watch his second homer, which just sneaked inside the rightfield foul pole. "He knows how I've pitched to him for the last probably year and a half, two years," Price said. "He steps in the bucket and hits a homer, and he stares at it to see if it's fair or foul. I'm sure that's what he'd say. But as soon as he hit it, I saw it, I knew it was fair. Run." After Ortiz extended his club record with his 14th career postseason home run, and first multi-homer playoff game, the Fenway Park crowd chanted "Papi!" to draw a curtain call. Manager Joe Maddon said Ortiz's first homer came on a cutter down the middle, and that Price's fastball location was off on the second one. Price said he "second-doubted" himself on the pitch. "David Ortiz, that guy doesn't hit home runs against David," Maddon said. "That was the awkward part."

Double trouble

The Rays have been burned by double plays many times this season. And it cost them again Saturday, grounding into three to kill potential rallies. They had runners on first and second with one out in the first and seventh, but Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist grounded into inning-ending double plays, respectively. Yunel Escobar hit into one with one on and one out in the eighth. For the Red Sox, they hadn't turned three double plays in a postseason game since Game 4 of the 1918 World Series.

Lacking vs. Lackey

Red Sox RHP John Lackey wasn't at his best Saturday night. The Rays had several well-hit balls against the former All-Star, but Lackey found a way to wiggle out of trouble. Lackey still allowed four runs on seven hits, walking three in 51/3 innings, his shortest outing since May 14 at Tropicana Field, when he went just 41/3 innings. "Tonight was a blue collar night on the mound," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He gave us everything he had." 3B Evan Longoria said Lackey made big pitches when he needed to, inducing a rally-killing double play in the first inning and, with two outs and two on in the fifth, striking out Ben Zobrist looking. "We got him on the ropes a couple times, but he made those big pitches," Longoria said. "It's frustrating, but you've got to tip your cap to him."

Reunion of the day

While all the Rays were excited to come home Saturday night from their nearly two-week, five-city road trip, OF Sam Fuld quipped he didn't think anybody was "more ready than me." That's because Fuld had yet to meet his son, William, born Sept. 28 while the team was in Toronto. Fuld said his wife, Sarah, has sent photos, and he's seen their third child through pictures and Facetime; on Saturday Fuld tweeted William a "happy week old birthday." But Fuld couldn't wait for their first meeting, even if it's in the early hours today. "I'll be exhausted, but I'll be excited," Fuld said. "I'm pretty sure I'm going to be up a couple times in the middle of the night."

Wright stuff

Veteran RHP Jamey Wright's much-anticipated and long-awaited first postseason appearance Friday didn't go particularly well, allowing four runs in the eighth inning of a 12-2 loss to the Red Sox. "Definitely not my finest moment," he said. But considering the 18-season journey he took to get here, Wright, 38, said he's appreciated the significance of the milestone. His wife, Marnie, and three kids — daughter Presley, 9, sons Jett, 6, and Cash, 5 — made the trip to Boston, as well as his best friend, Brandon Moss. "I've already got people calling talking about coming to Tampa," Wright said. "Game on."

About Friday

The Rays' 12-2 loss marked the first postseason game since Game 6 of the 2001 World Series (Diamondbacks 15, Yankees 2) when a team scored 12 or more runs without hitting a homer, and the eight time overall in postseason history. … It was the Rays' most lopsided postseason loss, with the 12 runs and 14 hits allowed team highs. The Rays had allowed 10 runs (Game 4 of the 2008 World Series) and 12 hits three times, most recently that Series game.

Did you know?

There have been nearly 2,100 fly balls in postseason games since 2010. According to Baseball Info Solutions, Wil Myers was only the third player to "abandon the effort to make a play in the mistaken belief somebody else would make it." The other two were pitcher Tim Lincecum and catcher Gerald Laird, meaning Myers was the only outfielder of the group. (Source: ESPN Stats and Info).

What they're saying

"It's not like they beat him up. They got hits and you've gotta give them credit for that. But they didn't whack him all around the yard. Take Ortiz out of the equation, which I know you can't do, and you've got two hard-hit balls over the course of seven-plus innings."

Pitching coach Jim Hickey on LHP David Price, who gave up seven runs in seven innings, including two homers to David Ortiz.

"When he hits two home runs, things are going to revolve around him. He's the main cog in our lineup."

Red Sox manager John Farrell on David Ortiz

Big hit

One bright spot for the Rays was 1B James Loney, who had two hits, including a two-run double to left-center in the fifth that cut the Red Sox lead to 5-3. "Just got a pitch right over the plate to hit," Loney said. "(Lackey) was already down 2-and-0, so he was trying to throw a strike."

   
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