Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Jeff Keppinger staked David Price to an early lead, and the Cy Young candidate did the rest to pick up his American League- tying 19th win.
Price struck out 13 in his second complete game of the season and Keppinger smacked a three-run homer in the second inning as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Boston Red Sox, 5-2, in the opener of a brief two-game set.
With his 13 punchouts, Price (19-5) and fellow starter James Shields became only the seventh set of teammates in MLB history to tally 200 strikeouts in back-to-back seasons.
The lanky left-hander surrendered two runs, scattered seven hits and walked none for the Rays, who have won six straight games and sit 2 1/2 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the final AL wild card spot. The A's are currently in Arlington taking on the Texas Rangers.
Clay Buchholz (11-7) allowed five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and two walks for Boston
The Rays opened the scoring with a three-run second.
Evan Longoria and Luke Scott worked consecutive walks to start the second frame before Keppinger banged a three-run shot over the Green Monster and off the light stanchion in left field.
Boston, though, plated a run in the second and third to make it a one-run game.
Danny Valencia ripped a two-out RBI single to center field in the second, and with runners on second and third and two down in the third, a Price balk allowed Daniel Nava to come home, which made it 3-2.
The Rays got both runs back in the sixth when Jose Molina belted a two-out, RBI single to left field. A fielding error by Nava on the play allowed Carlos Pena to score and extend the advantage to 5-2.
Price and Shields joined the Los Angeles Dodgers' Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale (1962-65), the Arizona Diamondbacks' Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson (2001-02), the California Angels' Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana (1976-77), the Philadelphia Athletics' Eddie Plank and Rube Wadell (1904-05), the Cleveland Indians' Luis Tiant and Sam McDowell (1967-68) and the Detroit Tigers' Mickey Lolich and Joe Coleman (1971-73) ... The Angels' Jered Weaver also has 19 wins ... The Washington Nationals' Gio Gonzalez leads MLB with 20 victories.
For a complete game box score, click here
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