David Price couldn’t stop his former team, and neither could the Boston bullpen.
Tampa Bay chased its ex-teammate in the fourth inning, tagging him with eight runs in 3 2/3 innings. But even after Boston came back to tie it, the Rays rallied against the Red Sox relievers to win 12-8 on Thursday.
Evan Longoria and Curt Casali homered off Price, who matched his career high in runs allowed. He struck out five, but also gave up two walks, hit Brandon Guyer twice and gave up a pair of homers.
"That’s the best I’ve felt in my four starts here," Price said. "To me, that’s the most disappointing thing. To feel the way that I felt, (I just didn’t) get the results that I expect."
Price spent six years in Tampa and then was traded at each of the last two trading deadlines, to Detroit in 2014 and Toronto in ’15. In all, he has allowed 17 earned runs in 22 2/3 innings in four starts against his original team.
"I have so much respect for him," Longoria said. "But you want to go out and beat him."
A lifetime .198 hitter who was holding down the No. 9 spot in the batting order, Casali is batting .625 — with three homers in eight at-bats — against Price, a six-time All-Star and 2012 Cy Young Award winner?
"I can’t even tell you I’ve got a feeling about it," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He’s doing it against one of the best."
Steven Souza Jr. doubled home the go-ahead run in the eighth as Tampa, which gave up five runs in the first, scored six in the fourth before Boston rallied to tie it 8-all. The Rays, who entered the game with the fewest runs scored in baseball, topped their previous season high of seven.
Erasmo Ramirez (4-0) struck out Mookie Betts with the bases loaded in the seventh, then pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth. Alex Colome got two outs for his third save.
William Cuevas, making his major league debut, pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits and two walks for Boston.
Dustin Pedroia was a triple away from the cycle while recording the 1,500th hit of his career. But he lined out to right with two on and two out in the ninth to end the game.
Xander Bogaerts also had three hits for the Red Sox. Logan Forsythe had three hits for Tampa.
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