Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fennelly: David Price confirms that Rays' victory is impressive

ST. PETERSBURG — I hurried to the Boston Red Sox clubhouse Sunday afternoon. Former Rays ace, current Sox upset person David Price, who pitched well, was speaking with media, which he now only does on days he starts.

Great to hear your voice, David!

Here's one thing Price said:

"They threw the ball well. They played unbelievable defense. They had the big hits when they needed them. That's what you need to win baseball games, and that's what they were able to do."

The Rays spoke up heading into the All-Star break. Brad Miller's bat, silenced most of this season by injuries and lousy, made real noise with his first home run in two months for a 5-3 win to take three out of four from first-place Boston.

Some Rays jumped the dugout fencing when Miller's shot cleared the wall in dead center at the Trop. Rays manager and All-Star coach Kevin Cash might have tried that but for his broken foot. His team did anything but limp into the break.

"That was exciting, man," Cash said.

Yeah, we're just at the All-Star break, but this was a good week for the Rays. A statement week. They followed a split at raucous Wrigley Field by winning the series from Boston before semi-raucous and semi-large crowds (for the Rays) at the Trop. The Rays beat the best Sox starter, Chris Sale, on Thursday. Alex Cobb was lights out Saturday.

And Sunday, after Dustin Pedroia punched a hole in the weekend by taking a 96 mph Chris Archer fastball out for a two-run homer and 3-2 Boston lead in the seventh, the Rays punched back with the kind of rally that said they want to be for real.

"Hell, yeah, we're for real," Miller said.

The Rays are tied with the Yankees for second place in the AL East, just 31/2 games behind the Sox.

More to the point, they broke out of that win-lose-win-lose deal by following a big win with another big win.

"It's huge," Cash said. "We hadn't been that great at doing that. Everybody talks about .500. It feels like we've lingered around there, up, down, up, down, the entire time. You try not to overhype this series, but for us to come out of it to win the series says a lot."

Archer, bound for Miami as an All-Star fill-in, battled his former mentor Price for hegemony for six innings for a 2-1 Rays lead. Still, Archer handed over the lead with that Pedroia homer. Put that in your All-Star duffel bag.

But Sunday was a Rays day.

In the fourth inning, with runners on second and third, Boston's Christian Vazquez lifted a foul ball to right, near the Rays bullpen. Cash went to the corner of his dugout and picked up … the SOUZA PHONE. Next thing we knew, there was Steven Jr., diving headlong to make a spectacular grab for the second out. I can't wait for the movie.

In the sixth inning, All-Star Corey Dickerson made a leaping catch against the wall in left and relayed to Miller, who threw to Logan Morrison at first for an inning-ending double play.

And there was the bottom of the seventh after Boston grabbed the lead.

That man Mallex.

Pinch-hitter Mallex Smith worked a walk, moved to second base on a Peter Bourjos sacrifice and to third on a Souza single — and scored to tie it at 3 when Dickerson lifted a shallow foul ball near the Red Sox bullpen. Boston's Andrew Benintendi should have seriously considered dropping that ball. He caught it.

"All I know is that when it hit his glove, I was gone," Smith said. "I didn't have a care in the world what he did."

Nor did Miller, or the Rays bench, when he hit his two-run shot off Boston reliever Joe Kelly, who had gone 23 consecutive scoreless appearances.

"Today was a huge win," Miller said. "It kind of showed our character a little bit."

A 4-2 week for the Rays. A statement week? It doesn't mean anything if they don't come roaring on a six-game Western trip to Anaheim and Oakland after the break. But it was good stuff.

The Rays made real noise.

Hey, David Price said so.

Fennelly: David Price confirms that Rays' victory is impressive 07/09/17 [Last modified: Sunday, July 9, 2017 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Jake Odorizzi admitted he probably should have gone on the DL sooner than late July for the back stiffness that was keeping him from throwing the ball where he wanted to. He has since found an impressive groove, with another strong outing Saturday.

  4. Matt Baker's takeaways from Florida State-N.C. State

    College

    RB Cam Akers still looks like a former high school quarterback at times. His first two touches (30 yards) were special, but the freshman juked instead of powering ahead on his third (an unsuccessful third-and-1 rush). That's why the Seminoles are easing him in, as they did with Dalvin Cook three years ago.

    Running back Cam Akers carries for a first down during the third quarter as FSU eases the freshman into the college game.
  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.