Posted September 24, 2012 on AP on Fox
After the Tampa Bay Rays found themselves on the verge of falling out of contention last week, they've climbed their way back into the AL wild-card race. Seeking a sixth consecutive victory, Tampa Bay sends Cy Young candidate David Price to the hill Tuesday night as it kicks off a crucial six-game road swing against the Boston Red Sox. Though many were ready to write off the Rays (83-70) after watching them drop seven of eight, they may have gotten hot just in the nick of time. Tampa Bay, which salvaged a four-game home split with Boston (69-85) before sweeping Toronto over the weekend, has hit .356 and outscored opponents 46-13 during its five-game winning streak. "We understand that we've got to go out and win every game," third baseman Evan Longoria, who went 2 for 4 with two RBIs during Sunday's 3-0 win, told the team's official website. "We really don't have any pressure on us. We don't have anybody crawling up our tail, we're just able to focus on the people in front of us." The Rays sit in fourth place in the wild-card standings, trying to track down third-place Los Angeles and second-place Oakland for a postseason spot. With nine games remaining on its schedule, Tampa Bay likely needs to dominate this trek. "This road trip is pretty important, but we're not going to put any pressure on ourselves," outfielder B.J. Upton said after belting his 10th homer in 19 games Sunday. "We're going to have some fun with it and see what happens." The Rays have to like their chances of keeping things going with Price (18-5, 2.58 ERA) on the mound. The left-hander owns the majors' lowest ERA and ranks third with a .783 winning percentage. After missing a start earlier this month due to a sore shoulder, Price returned to throw seven innings of two-run ball during a 6-4 road win over the New York Yankees on Sept. 14. He held the Red Sox to three runs over 7 1-3 innings Thursday before Upton's game-ending three-run homer gave the Rays a 7-4 victory. "I feel good," said Price, who's 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA over six career starts at Fenway Park. " ... I'm looking to go out there Tuesday and try to help us win." The Red Sox counter with Clay Buchholz (11-6, 4.16), who limited Tampa Bay to four hits over seven scoreless innings opposite Price last week before the bullpen came undone. "(Buchholz) was really that good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's so annoying to see him that good. He was that good. He had everything working - two-seamer underneath, cutter going the other way, curveball when he wanted, changeup to both sides of the plate. "He was on top of his game. He was definitely as good as he can be." Winless in his last six starts overall, Buchholz has gone 5-4 with a 2.52 ERA over 13 career matchups versus Tampa Bay, allowing two earned runs or fewer in all but three of those outings. Boston went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position Sunday but snapped a four-game skid with its seventh win in 25 games, beating Baltimore 2-1. This two-game set between the Red Sox and Rays marks Boston's final home series of 2012. The Red Sox have dropped 17 of 24 at Fenway since Aug. 1, posting an AL-worst 5.10 home ERA over that stretch.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Rays' Price in line to pitch one-game wild-card playoff

The Tampa Bay Rays have been shifting around other pieces of their rotation, but for David Price, they just want him to go out and pitch. Price will start Tuesday against the Red Sox in Boston on his usual fifth day, and he will do so again Sunday in Chicago against the White Sox. He'll then be lined up for a potential one-game wild-card playoff on Oct. 5. "I feel good...

Price tops 200 innings, 200 strikeouts

Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price had a rough second and third inning Tuesday. When catcher Jose Molina suggested they change their game plan, getting away from his cutter and going more to his changeup and curveball, Price went along. It worked out pretty well, as he ended up with a complete game for his 19th win, passing the twin milestones of 200 innings and 200 strikeouts...

'Party Crasher' David Price Spoils Fun at Fenway With Dominant Performance as Rays Continue to Roll (Video)

Never count out the Tampa Bay Rays. Time and time again, Joe Maddon and Co. have shown an ability to overcome just about anything, and they did just that on Tuesday. Instead of celebrating the return of the 2004 World Series champions, the Fenway Park crowd was silenced by a dominating performance courtesy Cy Young candidate David Price. The lefty racked up 13 strikeouts on the night...

Price fans 13 as Rays beat Red Sox

David Price struck out a season-high 13 and Jeff Keppinger hit a three-run homer as Tampa Bay beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Tuesday night, extending the Rays' winning streak to six and keeping their playoff hopes alive. Tampa Bay entered the day three games behind Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot and has only eight games remaining, making a loss to the struggling...

Price strikes out 13 in Rays' 5-2 win at Boston

David Price struck out a season-high 13 and Jeff Keppinger hit a three-run homer as Tampa Bay beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Tuesday night, extending the Rays' winning streak to six and keeping their playoff hopes alive. Tampa Bay entered the day three games behind Oakland for the AL's second wild-card spot and has only eight games remaining, making a loss to the struggling...

David Price Strikes Out 13, Adds Another Gem to His Cy Young Resume

Editor's note: NESN.com is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine's words. Each game day, we will select a Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox. BOSTON –– There's a reason David Price is vying for a Cy Young. Amid a last-second playoff push, the Rays pitcher absolutely dominated the Red Sox on Tuesday en route to handing them...

Sox Lose to Rays as Price Pitches a Complete Game

The Red Sox celebrated the 2004 team prior to the game, however it didn't overflow into the current team being able to notch down another win.  The Red Sox once again were not able to play the role of spoiler as they fell to the Rays in the opening game of the 2 game series with Tampa.   Clay Buchholz took the mound for the Sox and the team was never able to overcome him...

Price gets 19th win as Rays win sixth straight

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox certainly didn't slow Tampa Bay's late-season run to the AL's wild card berth last year, so why start now. David Price was overpowering in throwing a complete game for his 19th win, Jeff Keppinger belted a three-run homer and the Rays won their sixth straight with a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox Tuesday night. One year ago, Boston was in...

Recap: Another loss

The Sox lost again, as expected. David Price went the distance to get his 19th win of the season as the Rays took this one 5-2. I wonder how many people actually watched this game. The Rays came in on a 5, now 6 game winning streak and the Sox have been dead for months. The Sox honored the 2004 World Series Champion Red Sox before the game, and that was the most notable Red Sox...

Clay Buchholz Credits Opposing Starter David Price After Red Sox Fall to Rays (Video)

Clay Buchholz realizes that when David Price is opposing you, runs are going to be at a premium. To that end, Buchholz professed that he was surprised the Red Sox hitters looked as good as they did against the AL Cy Young candidate, who threw nine innings of two-run ball en route to a 5-2 Rays win on Tuesday. Being his last start at Fenway for the year, the 28-year-old right-hander...

Rays try to keep playoff hopes alive in Boston

With the season winding down, the Tampa Bay Rays think they have enough left in them to make the playoffs. They just need to keep getting some help. The Rays will try to match a season high with their seventh straight win Wednesday night when they finish a two-game set against the Boston Red Sox. Tampa Bay has moved within three games of the second AL wild card and must still overtake...

Rays 5, Red Sox 2

BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox certainly didn't slow Tampa Bay's late-season run to the AL's wild card berth last year, so why start now. David Price was overpowering in throwing a complete game for his 19th win, Jeff Keppinger belted a three-run homer and the Rays won their sixth straight with a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox Tuesday night. One year ago, Boston was in...

Tuesday Red Sox Travesty - 9/25

After losing two-of-three against the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox will finish up the home part of their 2012 schedule tonight starting with the first-game of a two-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at historic Fenway Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on NESN in the Red Sox television market. If you live in the Rays television...

How we see it goin' down: Rays - Sox series

First Pitch: Tuesday 7:10, Wednesday 7:10 Arms: Tuesday: David Price, LHP (18-5, 2.58 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz, RHP (11-6, 4.16 ERA) Wednesday: Alex Cobb, RHP (9-9, 4.27 ERA) vs. Jon Lester, LHP (9-13, 4.96 ERA)                                          Yard: Fenway Park   Watch it: NESN   Hear it:  WEEI The Matchup   ...

This is my version of a modified game score

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.