A night after the Red Sox instigated a bencn-clearing scrum involving Luke Scott and Sox reliever Franklin Morales, the Rays came into tonight's game with their top priority being to silence all their Bostonian critics. It was essentially known that tonight had the potential to be a pitcher's duel, with David Price going up against Josh Beckett, and, low and behold, it was. Despite the final score being 2-3, Price gave up 8 hits while Beckett only gave up 4, and both pitchers gave seven strong innings of quality work. The two key hits for the Rays came from Ben Zobrist, who hit a sacrifice fly to semi-deep left in the 7th, with Luke Scott singling home Matt Joyce in the very next at-bat. Contrary to what his numbers suggest, the Wolverine is tied for 8th place in the American League for RBIs with 31, and is slugging .462, a career best at this point; proving once again that a healthy Luke Scott is an effective Luke Scott.
Unfortunately for Scott and Zobrist, Jarod Saltalamacchia had other plans. After the go-to closer Fernando Rodney walked Daniel Nava to leadoff the bottom of the 9th, Salty (as I will lazily call him) took a 96mph 2-seamer on an 0-1 count and drilled it to right-center field, winning in walkoff fashion. Rodney's first blown save and loss [of the season] more-or-less spoiled Price's great outing, as he only needed a measly 3 outs to secure Price's seventh win of the season. Coming off a win after last night's heated events, the Rays really could us a victory, and were on the cusp of one. But sometimes, as a pitcher, it's just "one of those nights" where pitch placement/command isn't up to par, and one bad pitch can potentially ruin a team's night. With the series tied 1-1, the Rays look to send the Red Sox a message by winning tomorrow's series deciding game.
Notables from last night's game:
D. Price(TAM): 7 IP, 8 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K
L. Scott(TAM): 1-4, RBI
J. Beckett(BOS): 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 K
J. Saltalamacchia(BOS): 1-1, Walkoff 2R HR
Rays news and notes:
- Jeremy Hellickson (4-1, 2.73 ERA) looks to right the ship as he takes on Clay Buchholz (4-2, 7,84 ERA) and the rest of the Red Sox this afternoon at 1:35 pm.
- More injury issues: Brandon Guyer will miss the entire 2012 season with a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder. Desmond Jennings could potentially return next weekend, as he is scheduled to start his rehab assignment sometime this week. Brandon Allen is eligible and is off the DL, but it could be a couple of days before he rejoins the Rays; possibly the next series.
- ESPN recently had an interesting article on outfielder Rich Thompson's pact with baseball.
- Joe Maddon said earlier this weekend that Hideki Matsui, hitting .171 so far with Triple-A Durham, is "not quite ready yet" to join the Rays.
- DRaysBay recently had a piece on the Rays' bullpen and Leverage Index.
- Joe Maddon said this after Friday night's incident.
- ...Boston skipper Bobby Valentine responded with these words.