It just wouldn't be a series between these two division rivals without a bench clearing brawl. Friday night's game turned into a bean ball war, starting with David Price drilling David Ortiz with the first pitch of the at bat. Big Papi was fuming over what he felt was intent on Price's part to hit him, perhaps in retribution for the Sox slugger taking the pitcher deep twice last October. When Price hit Mike Carp in the 4th inning, that's when the benches cleared. John Farrell and two of his coaches ended up getting ejected in the game, as did starter Brandon Workman (for throwing behind Evan Longoria). Somehow none of the Rays players or managers got tossed, despite that they were the only ones plunking hitters.
Ironically, it would end up being an unintentional hit by pitch that would cost Tampa Bay the game. Juan Carlos Oviedo hit Johnny Gomes in the 10th inning and A.J. Pierzynski's triple drove him home for the winning run. It was sweet vengeance for the Red Sox for all their hitters that got beaned, as well as paying the Rays back with a walk-off win after Tampa Bay had two such victories against them last weekend.
- Rubby De La Rosa has been called up to fill in for the injured Clay Buchholz. He was one of the prospects acquired in the 2012 blockbuster deal with the Dodgers and had a cup of coffee with the Red Sox last season, posting a 5.56 ERA in 11.1 innings out of the bullpen. So far this season in Pawtucket, De La Rosa is 2-3 with a 3.04 ERA.
- Dustin Pedroia exited last night's game in the 9th inning with a bruised right hand. X-Rays were negative, but he'll get a day off today.
- Boston's 5 game win streak has pulled them out of the AL East basement and back within 6 games of division leading Toronto.
- Jake Odorizzi (2-4, 4.56 ERA) gets the start for the Rays. He went 6 innings in a win over the Red Sox last weekend, giving up only 1 run. After a rocky start to the season, he's pitched better lately, giving up a total of 4 runs in his past 4 starts (21.2 innings).
- The Rays are the only team in the AL without a single player hitting over .300 this season. James Loney is the only one in their lineup that comes close, entering the day at .288.