Price appears in midseason form against Red Sox
Southpaw strikes out seven and allows just two earned runs over 6 2/3 frames
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Tampa Bay took an 8-4 win over Boston Sunday afternoon in front of a record-setting Charlotte Sports Park crowd of 7,852.
David Price started for the Rays and looked sharp in his third outing of the spring. The Rays' ace allowed two runs on three hits, a walk and a hit batter while striking out seven in 6 2/3 innings.
"I feel good," Price said. "I told [pitching coach Jim Hickey] I wish today was Opening Day. ... [I] feel good. It's easy to go out there and put up those kinds of stats whenever your defense is making the plays we made today. Loney, Longo, Zobrist on second, and Logan in left, I don't know if he's ever even played left."
Logan Forsythe played the outfield for the first time this spring as the Rays' utility man started in left. He came through in the fourth when he made a diving back-handed grab off a Mike Napoli line drive for the third out of the inning.
"That was the first ball hit to him and that was definitely a web gem," Price said of Forsythe's impressive grab.
Allen Webster started for the Red Sox and surrendered a one-out double to Ben Zobrist in the first. Webster then retired Evan Longoria looking before James Loney dribbled a chopper to third that Will Middlebrooks could not handle, allowing Zobrist to score for a 1-0 Rays lead.
Webster appeared to escape a third-inning jam when he got Longoria to roll over to third base for what appeared to be an inning-ending double-play, but second baseman Brock Holt dropped the ball and all runners were safe to load the bases. Ryan Hanigan then scored on a wild pitch to put the Rays up, 2-0.
After Hanigan drew a walk to start the fifth, Drake Britton took over for Webster. David DeJesus greeted the left-hander with a single through the left side and Zobrist followed with a single to right to score Hanigan. Loney added a two-run double to give the Rays a 5-0 lead.
Webster allowed two earned runs on three hits and three walks while striking out three.
DeJesus doubled home a run in the sixth and Loney added a two-run single to chase Britton while pushing the lead to 8-0.
Ryan Lavarnway and Holt each drove in a run off Heath Bell in the seventh to cut the lead to 8-2. Both runs were charged to Price.
Shortstop Deven Marrero knocked a solo homer off Juan Sandoval in the ninth. It was his first home run of the spring. Later in the frame, Sean Coyle hit a ground-rule double to score Justin Henry.
Up Next: After enjoying an off-day on Monday, the Rays return to action Tuesday night when Matt Moore makes his fourth start of the spring in a 7:05 p.m. ET contest against the Twins. The game can be seen live on MLB.TV. The left-hander showed improvement in his last outing when he allowed no runs in a 3 1/3-inning stint against the Pirates on Thursday.
Right-hander Phil Hughes is scheduled to start for the Twins.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.