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Andrew Miller was bound to hit the wall some time. After a string of “easy” opponents (though ask any major league pitcher – no opponent is considered “easy”) like the Padres, Pirates, Astros and Orioles, Miller faced his first true test: the Tampa Bay Rays, who have been a thorn in the Red Sox side the last three years.
Miller did not pass the test, failing to get out of the third inning in a 9-6 loss for the Red Sox. Miller lasted just 2.2 innings and allowed 7 runs (all earned) on five hits and an alarming five walks. With the teams tied 1-1 in the second, Miller allowed a grand slam to Ben Zobrist that blew the game wide open.
David Price was pretty solid in his win for the Rays, but he allowed three home runs (all solo shots: Darnell McDonald, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Dustin Pedroia) in 6.0 innings to grab his eighth win of the season. In fact, Sox lefties struggled all night, as Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, and David Ortiz combined to go 1-12.
Sox hitters struck out 11 times overall, but still managed to chip away at the Rays’ lead. They scored their sixth and final run on a Kevin Youkilis RBI single, but scored their other five runs on FOUR home runs (Marco Scutaro hit a two-run shot in the seventh). While they tried and tried to claw back, their efforts weren’t enough to bail out their lanky lefty Miller.
Pedroia continued his hot streak, going 3-4 with a HR and two runs to raise his average to .289.
Ortiz finished 0-4 with two strikeouts, including a key K in the eighth while the Red Sox were threatening.
W: David Price (8-3)
L: Andrew Miller (3-1)