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Closing Time: David Ortiz, Red Sox get better of David Price, Rays

10.05.13 at 8:52 pm ET
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The Red Sox managed what many thought they couldn’t — they beat David Price.

John Farrell’s team scored seven runs off of Price, the most the lefty had ever surrendered in 21 starts against the Red Sox. The end result was a 7-4 win for the hosts over the Rays Saturday night at Fenway Park, giving the Sox a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five American League Division series.

(Prior to the Price start, only Freddy Garcia had a longer streak of consecutive starts against the Red Sox without allowing at least six runs.)

The Red Sox had to weather the storm in the final innings, with the Rays getting at least the tying run to the plate in innings 5-8. But nifty relief work by both Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa — who finished off the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, with inning-ending double plays — paved the way for another Koji Uehara save.

Uehara came on in the ninth and needed just 11 pitches (all strikes) to retire all three batters he faced.

Leading the Red Sox’ offense was David Ortiz, who launched a pair of home runs. It was the first time Ortiz has managed a multiple-homer game in the postseason. The last Red Sox to claim two home runs in a playoff game was Dustin Pedroia (2007).

Red Sox starter John Lackey last just 5 1/3 innings, marking just the third time this season he has gone fewer than 5 2/3 innings (one being due to an injury). The righty allowed four runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out six.

The teams now head to Florida, where they will face off in Game 3 at Tropicana Field Monday (6:07 p.m.).

WHAT WENT RIGHT

Jacoby Ellsbury displayed his value out of the gate, leading off the home half of the first with a single, stealing second — moving to third on an errant throw — and then ultimately coming in on Pedroia’s sacrifice fly to right field.

– Ortiz hit his third home first-inning home run of the season, launching a solo shot into the Red Sox’ bullpen. His second blast came in the eighth inning

– Ellsbury contributed again in the third inning with his second straight single, this one looping just over the head of third baseman Evan Longoria. The bloop allowed David Ross — who had led off the frame with a double off the left field wall. Ellsbury would then score on Pedroia’s fielder’s choice ground out, making it 4-1.

–  Stephen Drew‘ lofted an RBI triple just over the head of left fielder David DeJesus in the fourth, making lefty hitters 4-for-6 at the time against Price. It marked the first time this season Drew has managed at least one hit in four straight games against left-handers. Entering the game, Drew had been 0-for-11 with five strikeouts against Price.

– Pedroia notched his ninth postseason double in the fifth, driving in the Red Sox’ sixth run. He came into the game carrying the fourth-most postseason doubles of any Red Sox’ second baseman.

– The Red Sox’ three double plays were the most in a postseason game since Game 4 of the 1918 World Series.

WHAT WENT WRONG

– Lackey had some command issues early on, walking a pair in the first two innings, while throwing 37 pitches in the pair of frames. The Rays got to the Sox’ starter in the second inning thanks to a Delmon Young sacrifice fly, scoring Ben Zobrist. Lackey allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in five of his six innings.

– Former Red Sox James Loney cut the Red Sox’ lead to a pair of runs with a two-run double off the center field wall. Lackey did come back with an outstanding fastball at the knees to strikeout Zobrist, stranding the tying run at first base. Zobrist entered the game hitting .407 (11-for-27) against the Sox’ starter.

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