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American League Game Summary - Boston at Tampa Bay
(Wednesday, May 15th)
Final Score: Boston 9, Tampa Bay 2
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - Stephen Drew's grand slam capped an eight-run third inning which propelled Boston over Tampa Bay by a 9-2 count in the second edition of a three-game series from Tropicana Field.
Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Jonny Gomes each added an RBI during the onslaught, while Will Middlebrooks hit a late solo homer for the Red Sox, who put the brakes on a three-game skid.
Jon Lester (6-0) worked seven solid innings, giving up eight hits and two runs with five strikeouts. The 29-year-old lefty hasn't lost since Sept. 26, 2012 in a start at Fenway against Tampa, and hasn't dropped a road decision since Sept. 16 of last season at Toronto.
Desmond Jennings hit an RBI triple and Ben Zobrist also knocked in a run for the Rays, whose season-high six-game win streak came to an end.
David Price (1-4) departed after just 2 1/3 frames with tightness in his left triceps, but not before he was tagged for five hits and four runs. Jamey Wright subbed for the reigning AL Cy Young winner, but surrendered the other four BoSox runs in the inning.
The Sox exploded in their third turn at the plate. Drew opened the frame with a walk, then Jacoby Ellsbury singled. After Shane Victorino flied out, Pedroia and Ortiz slugged back-to-back RBI singles for a 2-0 game which signaled Price's exit due to injury.
Wright came on but served up a run-scoring double from Napoli and an RBI single from Gomes. He retired Middlebrooks but walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia before Drew barely cleared the wall in right for a grand slam and 8-0 lead.
"No excuses, I just stunk tonight," Wright said. "I threw two sinkers right down the middle. One got hit for a double and one got hit up the middle. Then a cutter into Drew, I tried to go up and in and I threw it right down and in right into his swing path. He hit a home run. It was awful. I didn't do my job out there today."
A Jennings triple and Zobrist groundout cut Tampa's deficit to six in the home third, but the Rays fell silent from there.
Middlebrooks' solo homer in the eighth gave Boston a 9-2 advantage and capped the rout.
"Finally, we broke out with the eight runs in one inning," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It gave us some cushion to allow Lester to go out and pitch. More than anything, for our guys to go up and swing with some freedom, take some at-bats with some confidence. A good night offensively, particularly in the one inning."
Lester improved to 4-1 (9 earned runs) and has 45 strikeouts in 36 innings over his last six starts at Tropicana Field since the start of 2009 ... Coming into the game, Lester's 2.17 ERA in Tampa leads all pitchers with at least four starts at the Trop ... Price has not won on his home field since July 19, 2012, a span of eight starts.
05/16 02:28:26 ET