The Red Sox won their fifth straight in an extra-inning walkoff over the Rays. But that’s a small part of the story.
A triple to deep center field by A.J. Pierzynski in the bottom of the 10th inning drove in Jonny Gomes — who was hit by a pitch earlier — for the game winner as the Red Sox topped the Rays 3-2 on a wild night at Fenway Park.
It was the fourth walk off win for the Red Sox on the season, the second in as many games. It was the sixth career walk off hit for Pierzynski.
There was a beautiful double rainbow over Fenway after some pregame showers, but then things turned ugly fast at the old ballpark when the Hatfields and the McCoys… errr Rays and Red Sox… went at it again.
In the bottom of the first inning, David Ortiz came up to the plate with two outs and Dustin Pedroia on first base. Big Papi was then unceremoniously plunked in the midsection by David Price with a 94 mile-per-hour fastball — the first pitch he saw from the lefthander — prompting a warning to both benches.
“First at-bat of the season against him, he drilled me,” Ortiz said after the game. “That’s means it’s a war. It’s on. Next time he hits me, he better bring the gloves on. I have no respect for him no more.
“You can’t be acting like a little girl out there all the time, you give it up, that’s an experience for the next time, but you gonna be acting like a little bitch, every time you give it up, bounce back like that and put your teammates in jeopardy… oh yeah, I was going to let him know.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue the warning and was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Dan Bellino. Farrell was thrown out after just a couple of choice words.
“There were some different things that happened inside this game,” Farrell said after the game. “When we have four people ejected and also have three people hit by pitches, and they have none, that’s a hard one to figure out.
“David’s [Price] a heck of a pitcher. He comes in with two hit batters and eight walks on the year. He’s got the lowest walk-rate in the American League. And when he throws a ball and hits David Ortiz in the back, there is intent to that. And they can dispute that all they want, there is intent to that pitch. As emphatic as [umpire] Dan Bellino’s warning was, it sure seemed like Dan Bellino felt like there was intent as well. I disagreed with it. He took the ball out of our hand and then after Mike Carp got hit with a ball up around his neck, and they didn’t make a move then, the umpires allowed this game to escalate even further.”
While Ortiz flied out in his second at-bat, he got the best of Price in the bottom of the fifth with two out when he smacked a line drive RBI base hit to left field to drive in Xander Bogaerts with the Red Sox first run.
This isn’t the first time Price had an issue with Ortiz. Price suffered through the worst postseason start of his career in Game 2 of the ALDS last October at Fenway, giving up nine hits (six for extra bases), two homers to Ortiz, and every run in the Rays 7-4 loss to the Red Sox.
The second Ortiz home run came in the bottom of the eighth inning in that postseason game. It was a drive down the right field line that wrapped around the Pesky Pole. Ortiz stood at home plate after the blast to see if the ball would stay fair, watching the ball as it took flight down the line.
After the game, Price commented on Ortiz, who was a tad slow to take his victory lap.
“He knows how I’ve pitched him for the last probably year-and-a-half, two years,” Price said. “So 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 would say, but as soon as he hit it and I saw it I knew it was fair. Run.”
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Mike Carp got hit by Price with two outs and the benches cleared and Carp had words with Price and soon everyone was on the field. Despite the warnings to both benches in the first inning, Price was not ejected following the Carp plunk.
Ortiz got into it with the Rays Sean Rodriguez during the bench clearing. Rodriguez was one of three players tossed when the teams did some pushing and shoving during Sunday’s game at the Trop.
Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo — who was filling in for Farrell — was ejected after the benches cleared and he learned that Price would not be tossed despite the earlier warnings.
Red Sox third base coach Brian Butterfield became the third manager of the Boston nine on the night. Arnie Beyeler moved over from first to coach third base and assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez took over duties at first.
In the top of the sixth inning, Brandon Workman threw a pitch above Evan Longoria’s shoulders and was promptly ejected from the game.
Butterfield was also ejected from the game after the latest incident. Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn came on to serve as the fourth Red Sox manager on the evening.
Getting back to baseball, it was not a good start for Red Sox starter Brandon Workman in the first inning as David DeJesus doubled down the right field line and the ball eluded Grady Sizemore coming off the hop and DeJesus advanced to third on the error. Ben Zobrist grounded out to second and the first run came across for Tampa Bay.
It would be a 28-pitch first inning for Workman who would last 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Burke Badenhop, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Edward Mujica, and Andrew Miller all followed Workman out of the Sox pen.
An RBI single by DeJesus plated Yunel Escobar in the top of the fifth inning to put the Rays up 2-0.
The Sox got on the board in the bottom of fifth when Ortiz belted a two-out RBI single to left to drive in Xander Bogaerts.
Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and would score on a double off the wall by Bogaerts to tie the score, 2-2.
Price would leave the game after seven innings, throwing 110 pitches. The Rays ace gave up two runs on six hits, a walk, and six strikeouts… and two hit batsman.
In the bottom of the ninth after Grady Sizemore and Bradley both struck out swinging, Brock Holt walked and advanced to third on a single by Bogaerts who remained red-hot with three hits on the night. Pedroia then grounded out to shortstop off Rays reliever Joel Peralta to end the threat. Pedroia also came out of the game and was replaced at second base by Jonathan Herrera. Farrell said Pedroia suffered a right hand contusion and would be examined.