ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.—David Price was good—even better because of a rookie’s nifty glove work.
Boston’s ace won his third-straight decision last night, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2 with a huge assist from Andrew Benintendi’s home run-robbing catch that helped Price limit his old team to just two hits over eight scoreless innings.
Price (12-8) walked two, struck out eight, and didn’t allow a runner past first base in helping the Red Sox win for the ninth time in 11 games and nudge into a tie for first place in the AL East with Toronto.
Benintendi drove in a run with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly, then kept Price’s bid for a shutout alive by denying Steven Souza Jr. what would have been a two-run homer with an eighth-inning catch that nearly sent him tumbling over a short wall in the left-field corner.
“That’s a highlight-reel play at a pivotal time in the game,” noted Boston manager John Farrel.
“David was outstanding,” he added. “But in a three-run game, that late, take away a two-run homer, it’s a huge difference in the ball game.”
The defensive gem enabled Price to extend Tampa Bay’s scoring drought against Boston to 25 innings dating to a series at Fenway Park before the all-star break.
Evan Longoria snapped the streak with a two-run homer off Matt Barnes in the ninth.
“I think that’s the best catch I’ve made. I’ve never really had the opportunity to do that,” Benintendi noted.
“I knew that it was going to go out,” he added.
“I was just trying to time it and I was fortunate enough to finish with it.”
Chris Young returned from a two-month stay on the disabled list to drive in a run with a double off Blake Snell (4-6).
Hanley Ramirez had a sacrifice fly in the seventh while Xander Bogaerts added a two-run homer off Danny Farquhar in the ninth.
Price, who also pitched eight scoreless innings against his former team during a 4-0 victory in Boston back on July 10, won for the first time as a visitor in four decisions at Tropicana Field.
“I had a lot of good things happen,” said Price, the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner who helped the Rays make the playoffs four times before being traded in 2014.
“With ‘Benny,’ and the catch he made to rob a home run, I spent seven years here and I didn’t see that catch too many times,” he added.
Elsewhere in the AL, Cleveland nipped Oakland 1-0 and Seattle topped New York 7-5.
Over in the NL, L.A. dumped Cincinnati 18-9, Milwaukee doubled Colorado 4-2, Arizona topped Atlanta 9-8, and Chicago beat San Diego 5-1.
Baltimore edged Washington 4-3 in interleague play.