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David Price took a line drive off his chest but stuck around to pitch four solid innings, and the Tampa Bay Rays capitalized on Tim Wakefield's wild knuckleball to beat the Red Sox 8-5 Sunday and cut Boston's AL wild-card lead to two games.
Boston lost for 11th time in 14 games, including three of four in this series after getting swept at Tampa Bay last weekend. The Rays, who trailed Boston by nine games on Sept. 3, closed within two games of the Red Sox for the first time since June.
Tampa Bay has 10 games left: seven against the AL East-leading Yankees and three versus Toronto. Of Boston's remaining games, seven are against last-place Baltimore and three are at Yankee Stadium.
Price took Mike Aviles' liner off his right shoulder, just above the "Rays" on his uniform, in the third. The ball caromed to third baseman Evan Longoria, who threw out Aviles for a 1-5-3 putout.
Trainers looked at Price for several minutes behind the mound - at one point he pulled his shirt out so they could examine the bruise. Price stayed in to finish the third, and then pitched the fourth before leaving for what the team said was precautionary reasons.
Matt Joyce had three hits and three RBIs, Jake McGee (3-1) picked up the win with 2 2-3 innings of relief and Joel Peralta pitched the ninth for his fifth save.
Wakefield (7-7) threw two wild pitches and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia muffed three of his knucklers for passed balls, miscues that contributed to three runs. The Rays beat Boston for the eighth time in their last nine meetings.
Entering with a 6-2 lead, McGee retired his first eight batters before Marco Scutaro's singled chased him with two outs in the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury singled, Aviles hit a three-run homer before Cesar Ramos struck out Adrian Gonzalez.
By then, it was too late.
Tampa Bay went ahead 3-0 in the second after Casey Kotchman led off by reaching on a wild pitch on a third strike. He took second on a passed ball and scored on Johnny Damon's double. Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings singled in runs later in the inning.
In the fourth, Joyce doubled, took third on a passed ball and scored on Sean Rodriguez's sacrifice fly, but Darnell McDonald's two-run double cut the gap to 4-2 in the bottom half.
Desmond Jennings singled leading off the fifth, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.
Wakefield allowed six runs - four earned - six hits, one walk, two wild pitches and a hit batter in five innings while striking out five. The 45-year-old earned victory No. 200 in his previous outing, his only win in his last 10 starts.
Andrew Miller added a wild pitch in the seventh that helped another run score. Aviles also had two throwing errors at third base, contributing to one more Rays' run.
This program aired on September 18, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.
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