BOSTON — A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI triple in the bottom of the 10th inning and the Boston Red Sox – on their fourth manager of the night following a string of ejections – beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Friday in the latest testy game between the teams.
Jonny Gomes scored the winning run. He fittingly reached base when he was hit by a pitch, a common theme that led to one bench-clearing scrum and nearly as many ejections as runs on a wild night at Fenway Park.
Juan Carlos Oviedo (1-2) plunked Gomes with one out in the 10th and Pierzynski followed with a drive to the triangle in right-center, where the ball landed between Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings.
The Red Sox rushed out of the dugout – for once not to possibly fight their AL East rivals – and celebrated their fifth straight win following a 10-game skid.
Andrew Miller (2-4) got the win after the Red Sox rallied from a 2-0 deficit against Tampa Bay ace David Price.
These teams have a long history of bad blood, and Friday night was the latest chapter.
Price hit David Ortiz in the hip on his first pitch to the Boston slugger in the first inning. That led to warnings for both benches and the ejection of Red Sox manager John Farrell when he came out to argue.
Price plunked Mike Carp in the fourth, igniting the tensions again as players rushed from both dugouts for a round of pushing and shoving, but no punching. Price was not ejected, which infuriated bench coach Torey Luvollo enough to get him tossed and sent to join Farrell in the clubhouse.
Boston retaliated in the sixth when Brandon Workman threw a high pitch behind Rays slugger Evan Longoria, who was visibly upset. Longoria and Pierzynski had a conversation at home plate, and a handful of players from both dugouts ventured a few steps onto the field, but no trouble ensued.
Workman was ejected and third base coach Brian Butterfield was automatically tossed with him, leaving hitting coach Greg Colbrunn as the fourth Red Sox skipper of the night.
The last-place Rays had won five straight against the Red Sox, including a three-game sweep last weekend that extended Boston’s losing streak to 10 in a row. The Red Sox vented some of the frustration during a bench-clearing dustup Sunday at Tampa Bay that led to the ejection of three players: Gomes, and Yunel Escobar and Sean Rodriguez of the Rays.
David DeJesus led off the game with a double and took third on an error by Grady Sizemore in right field. Ben Zobrist followed with a fielder’s choice that allowed DeJesus to score and give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.
The Rays added a run in the fifth when Escobar led off with a double and scored on an RBI single by DeJesus.
Boston cut it to 2-1 in the fifth on two-out singles by Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz. Bogaerts added an RBI double to tie it at 2-all in the seventh after Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a single.
Price left after seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits. He struck out six, walked one and hit two batters.
NOTES: Boston RHP Rubby De La Rosa is scheduled to make his first start of the season Saturday against Tampa Bay RHP Jake Odorizzi (2-4). … Price entered with a 6-1 record at Fenway Park. … With Price’s no-decision, Tampa Bay starting pitchers have gone 12 straight games without a victory. … The Rays activated Ben Zobrist (thumb) from the 15-day DL and started him at second base. … Boston placed 1B-C Ryan Lavarnway on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his left hand and recalled OF-1B Alex Hassan from Triple-A Pawtucket.