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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Red Sox Can't Beat David Price or Jerry Meals

In any sport, I hate to blame the refs/umpires/officials since I think it's a juvenile thing to do that's both lazy and petty. However, once in a while you have to acknowledge particularly awful calls. Tonight in a makeup game from last Thursday's rain out, Tampa Bay (63-43 overall, 29-24 away) beat Boston (63-44 overall, 34-20 home) 2-1 at Fenway Park. This put the Rays back on top in the AL East by a half game over the Red Sox.

David Price (6-5) was excellent for the second time in a week against the Red Sox: 7.1 innings, 1 earned run on 2 hits with 8 strikeouts. Felix Doubront's (7-5) old and bad habit of racking up pitches early crept back into his game as he only last five innings because he threw 104 pitches.

The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on Sean Rodriguez's RBI double that scored Yunel Escobar (2 for 3). Wil Myers' (single, walk, stolen base) fielder's choice made it 2-0 in the following frame. Evan Longoria was 2 for 5 with a double and run.

Getting a rare start, Brandon Snyder cut it to 2-1 in the sixth inning with a sliced shot off Pesky's Pole in right. The controversial play happened in the eighth as Daniel Nava was called out on what would have been a sacrifice fly by Snyder. It was a bang bang play at the plate but replays showed that Nava's foot touched the plate before he was tagged. John Farrell was thrown out for arguing the bogus call which home plate umpire Jerry Meals later admitted was a mistake on his part. Nava also deserves some blame from the previous play when he should have scored a run on Stephen Drew's double to right.

Boston threatened in the ninth as Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single, stole second base and eventually ended up at third base with Jose Iglesias (who pinch ran for David Ortiz) on second. Fernando Rodney struck out Mike Napoli to end it for his 26th save of the season.

Even though they lost on what should have been an off day, the Red Sox catch a break with six more games at Fenway during this homestand against teams from outside the AL East that they need to beat: 3 vs. Seattle (50-55, 3rd in AL West) and 3 vs. Arizona. Tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) Brandon Workman (0-1) faces Joe Saunders (9-9). On Wednesday (7:10, NESN) hours after the non-waiver trade deadline passes, John Lackey (7-8) takes on Hisashi Iwakuma (10-4). Finally, Thursday (7:10, NESN) Ryan Dempster (6-8) battles Felix Hernandez (11-4).

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