BOSTON (AP) – David Price outpitched Jon Lester and the Tampa Bay Rays broke a tie with Boston for the worst record in the American League with a 3-2 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday night.
The Rays and Red Sox began the game even at 2-8. Tampa Bay, which romped 16-5 on Monday night, can complete a series sweep Wednesday night.
Price (1-2) allowed five hits in 7 2-3 innings. He left with runners at first and second and reliever Joel Peralta ended the eighth by getting Jed Lowrie to fly out. Kyle Farnsworth worked a perfect ninth for his second save.
Lester (0-1) pitched well for his second straight outing but remained winless.
Lester spoke with WBZ’s Jonny Miller after the game:
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the third on Darnell McDonald’s first homer of the season.
Tampa Bay scored three times in the fifth. Sam Fuld, who had two doubles, a triple and a homer the previous day, drove in the Rays’ first run with a dribbler down the first base line.
The Rays had loaded the bases with one out on singles by Kelly Shoppach, Dan Johnson and Elliott Johnson. Fuld then hit the ball to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who charged it and threw to catcher Jason Varitek for an attempted forceout. But umpire Jeff Nelson ruled that Shoppach had slid in safely before the catch.
Johnny Damon followed with a two-run double before B.J. Upton grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Boston began the season as a popular choice to win the World Series after adding Gonzalez in a trade with San Diego and signing Carl Crawford as a free agent from Tampa Bay. Crawford has struggled all season and Gonzalez went 0 for 4 in this latest loss.
The Red Sox had been outhomered 21-5 this season before McDonald’s long drive to left.
Boston scored once in the sixth and left the potential tying run on at second base. Dustin Pedroia led off with a double, took third on Gonzalez’s groundout — it was a hard liner that caromed off Price’s upper thigh — and scored on Lowrie’s second double of the game, making it 3-2. But Mike Cameron was retired on a hard grounder to third baseman Felipe Lopez.
Price retired the side in order in the seventh and got Crawford to fly out to start the eighth. Pedroia walked and took second on Gonzalez’s groundout before Kevin Youkilis was hit by Price’s last pitch of the game. Lowrie, who had been Boston’s most productive hitter during the game, flied out to center fielder Upton.
NOTES: Crawford, who spent the past nine seasons with the Rays, received his 2010 Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards before the game. “I’m glad we’re in town to see it because he did it as a Ray and that’s pretty significant,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said…. Lester is 3-7 with a 4.58 in his career in April and May and 58-19 with a 3.37 ERA after that. … The game was the first between two teams that were 2-8 or worse through 10 games since April 30, 1918, when the Brooklyn Robins beat the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)