ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - David Price was quick to share the credit after becoming the first American League pitcher to reach 12 wins Saturday night.
The All-Star left-hander outpitched Clay Buchholz, who was making his first start in nearly a month, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 at Tropicana Field.
"We continue to play well on my day (to pitch)," Price (12-4) said after allowing three runs on six hits in 7 1/3 innings. "Offensively and defensively, we put it together, and I'm very fortunate for that."
The Rays scored two runs in the seventh without getting a hit to take a 4-3 lead, and B.J. Upton added an insurance run in the eighth with a solo home run.
Two of Tampa Bay's runs came on sacrifice flies, one on a fielding error and one on a bases-loaded walk.
"That's who we got to be," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We can't sit around and (and wait). We're not going to bludgeon people to death. We have to be that group like we said tonight."
Buchholz (8-3), who had been on the disabled list with a stomach illness, made his first start since June 19. He held the Rays largely in check until the seventh, when, with his team leading 3-2, he started the inning by walking Luke Scott and hitting Jeff Keppinger.
Both would score after Buchholz left the game.
"Buchholz was really good," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "He was really good until right at the end there.
"I had questions about sending him back out, but he didn't have many pitches and he said he hadn't even broken a sweat yet."
After Desmond Jennings bunted Scott and Keppinger into scoring position, Valentine called on Matt Albers, who had pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 innings in the Red Sox's 3-1 win Friday.
Albers issued an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui and then walked Jose Lobaton to allow the tying run.
Elliot Johnson followed with a sacrifice fly, and the Rays led 4-3.
Price gave up a two-run home run to Will Middlebrooks in the fourth on an 0-2 pitch and allowed Boston to take a 3-2 lead in the sixth when Cody Ross scored on his errant pickoff throw to third.
But Price, as he usually does, kept his team in the game.
"David had outstanding stuff," Maddon said. "Up until the home run, he was pretty much on a strikeout rampage."
Reliever Joel Peralta got two big outs for the Rays in the eighth, and Fernando Rodney came on in the ninth to get his 26th save.
The Rays kept the game close with a huge double play in the fifth.
Boston, leading 2-1, had the bases loaded with one out and dangerous David Ortiz on deck.
Pedro Ciricaco hit a line drive to right, and as Ben Zobrist made the catch, Kelly Shoppach tagged at third and tried to score.
Zobrist made a strong one-hop throw to catcher Jose Molina, who blocked the plate and made the tag for the third out.
Sean Rodriguez's sacrifice fly gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the third.
Jennings and Molina opened the frame with singles to put runners at the corners, and Rodriguez, after first fouling off a bunt attempt, jacked an 0-2 pitch to deep center.
Buchholz limited the damage, though, and the Sox came back with two runs in the fourth to go up 2-1.
After Ortiz extended his hit streak to nine games with a single to the left of the shift, Middlebrooks hit a two-out, 0-2 pitch from Price over the left-center wall for his 11th homer.
Price hadn't allowed a home run to the Red Sox in his previous four starts.
The Rays tied it 2-2 in the fifth on a leadoff double by Keppinger, a sacrifice bunt by Jennings and a fielding error by shortstop Mike Aviles on a grounder from Molina.
But Boston again went back on top by a run in the sixth.
Ross walked, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Price's wild pickoff throw.
NOTES: Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez missed a second consecutive start because of back spasms. He was a late scratch Friday when his back locked up after batting practice, and Valentine said he wants to rest him for a couple of days. Valentine said he's considering using DH David Ortiz at first in Sunday's series finale. ... To make room for Buchholz, the Sox optioned first baseman Mauro Gomez back to Triple-A Pawtucket. ...Longtime minor leaguer Pedro Ciriaco, filling in at second for injured Dustin Pedroia, entered Saturday with a .418 career batting average through 35 games with Pittsburgh and Boston. That was the second highest in major league history for a player's first 35 games (minimum 35 at-bats), according to Elias. ... Rays right fielder Matt Joyce (strained oblique, lower back) will join Class A Charlotte on Sunday for a short rehab and could be ready to return Wednesday or Thursday, Maddon said. ... Outfielder Sam Fuld, out since having wrist surgery before the season, is scheduled to move from Class A to Triple-A on Monday in his rehab assignment. ... The Rays entered Saturday 11-19 at home since starting out 13-1
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