Red Sox Defeat Rays, Take Commanding 2-0 Lead

The Boston Red Sox defeated the visiting Tampa Bay Rays and ace David Price tonight to take a 2-0 lead in the American League best-of-five division series.

Sox DH David Ortiz homered twice (both solo shots) in tonight’s win at Fenway Park, his first multi-home run game in post-season action. Jacoby Ellsbury stroked three hits and Dustin Pedroia had three RBI. Boston blasted the Rays 12-2 in game one, notable for a key miscue by Wil Myers on an Ortiz flyball in the fourth inning. In that blowout victory, every Red Sox started hit safely and also scored a run.

Tampa must win on Monday night at their home ballpark in St. Petersburg, Fla., otherwise they will be swept out of the MLB playoffs. The scrappy Rays have already played with their backs against the wall this week, however, in winning the tiebreaker against the Texas Rangers and then winning the Wild Card game against the Cleveland Indians.

Conventional wisdom was that Price would dominate in tonight’s matchup against John Lackey, but once again the sports pundits were proven wrong. Last month, Sox starter Clay Buchholz returning from the 60-day disabled list outdueled Price at Tropicana Field in a 2-0 decision.

Price, who got the loss, gave up all seven wins, the most he’s ever allowed in 21 starts against Boston. Lackey tossed 5-1/3 innings for the win. Lights-out closer Koji Uehara got the save in the ninth, striking out two and getting Myers to ground out to Mike Napoli who made the unassisted putout.

According to WEEI.com, “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.”