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A.J. Pierzynski’s walk-off triple in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Boston Red Sox a 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays was anticlimactic.
The fireworks started in the bottom of the first inning when Rays starter David Price hit Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz in the hip. Immediately following the pitch, home plate umpire Dan Bellino issued warnings to both teams.
Ortiz and Price share a troubled history. In the 2013 ALDS, Ortiz smacked two home runs off of Price to power the Red Sox to victory. On the second homer, Ortiz lingered in the batter’s box to make sure the hit stayed fair and took his time trotting around the bases. After this game, the two of them spoke on the phone and cleared the air. Friday was the first time they squared off since then, reports ESPN Boston.
Ortiz was not the only Boston player hit by a pitch. First baseman Mike Carp was hit in the fourth inning. Left fielder Jonny Gomes was struck by a pitch in the 10th; he came around to score the game-winning run.
The Rays opened up a 2-0 lead with runs in the first and fifth innings. Ortiz got the Red Sox on the board with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. Boston knotted the game at two on a double by shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts smacked three hits and scored one run, according to ESPN.
The Red Sox will look for their sixth straight victory on Saturday night. The last time they lost was to the Rays on May 25.
“We fully expect this to be very competitive games; they always are against Tampa,” said Red Sox manager John Farrell, who was one of four people ejected, in his postgame press conference on MLB.com.