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Price Sharp As Rays Allow 3 Hits, Beat Red Sox 4-0

Sox starter John Lackey reacts after an RBI double by the Rays' Ben Zobrist in the seventh inning Wednesday. (AP)
Sox starter John Lackey reacts after an RBI double by the Rays' Ben Zobrist in the seventh inning Wednesday. (AP)

David Price pitched eight crisp innings, B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays held the Boston Red Sox to three hits for the third straight game in a 4-0 win on Wednesday.

Price (11-10) struck out six and walked three before Kyle Farnsworth worked a perfect ninth.

The combined shutout followed a day-night doubleheader in which James Shields and Jeff Niemann each pitched a complete game. Boston beat Shields in the opener 3-1 but Niemann struck out 10 in a 6-2 win in the nightcap.

Boston lost for the fifth time in seven games and dropped one game behind the New York Yankees for the AL East lead before New York's night game at Kansas City. Tampa Bay is 7-2 in its last nine.

Price entered with just two wins in his previous nine starts and losses in three of his previous four decisions. He turned that around against a Red Sox team that began the day with a .278 batting average, second in the AL.

Boston had a couple of chances, but couldn't come up with a big hit.

Dustin Pedroia singled with one out in the first and Adrian Gonzalez walked to put runners on first and second. But Price got Kevin Youkilis to ground into a double play.

Jacoby Ellsbury led off the sixth with a triple to deep right-center field. Pedroia struck out and Ellsbury was tagged out in a rundown when Gonzalez tapped back to Price. Gonzalez ended up at second before Youkilis grounded out.

The Rays jumped on the sloppy Red Sox in the first. Johnny Damon hit a one-out single and went to second when right fielder Darnell McDonald let the ball get by him for an error. Damon took third on John Lackey's wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Ben Zobrist.

Upton hit a leadoff drive to left in the fourth for his 17th homer and Longoria went deep in the fifth, belting a two-out drive to left on a 3-0 pitch for his 19th of the season.

Lackey (11-9) pitched a perfect sixth but was knocked out in the seventh when Zobrist hit a two-out RBI double. Kelly Shoppach, who had been hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, scored on the play.

NOTES: Boston DH David Ortiz missed his third game with bursitis in his right heel. ... Damon's second-inning double was his 2,670th career hit, moving him ahead of Gary Sheffield and into 64th place. ... Ellsbury stole his 32nd base in the third and is tied for third place in team history with Carl Yastrzemski at 168. ... Tampa Bay is off Thursday before starting a three-game series at home on Friday night against the Seattle Mariners. Wade Davis (8-7, 4.60 ERA) pitches for the Rays against Felix Hernandez (11-10, 3.38 ERA). ... Josh Beckett (9-5, 2.40) pitches for the Red Sox on Thursday night when they open a four-game series at Kansas City. Luke Hochevar (8-9, 4.89) goes for the Royals. Beckett was 6-0 in his career against the Royals before losing his last outing against them on July 28. ... Lackey was 6-0 in his previous seven starts, the best winning streak of his career.

This program aired on August 17, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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