Rays’ Price, Boston’s Lester strong in spring outings

Posted March 16, 2014, at 5:52 p.m.

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Tampa Bay ace David Price is rounding into regular-season form

and showed it Sunday when he allowed two runs on three hits for an 8-4 spring training win over the Boston Red Sox.

Price walked a batter and hit one while striking out seven.

Allen Webster pitched the first four innings for the Red Sox and gave up two earned runs on three hits while striking out three and walking three.

Ben Zobrist scored the Rays’ first run in the first inning after he doubled and later scored when third baseman Will Middlebrooks could not handle a James Loney chopper.

A Brock Holt error and Webster wild pitch led to another Tampa run in the third and the Rays added three more in the fifth, highlighted by Loney’s two-run double.

Boston’s Ryan Lavarnway and Brock 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.

Boston shortstop Deven Marrero hit a solo homer off Juan Sandoval in the ninth.

Boston righthander John Lackey gets the spring-training start against the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. Monday. It will the first time he will face them since he defeated them in the clinching Game 6 of last year’s World Series.

On Saturday night in Fort Myers, Fla., Boston ace Jon Lester battled evenly with Phillies star Cliff Lee before the Phillies emerged with a 4-1 victory.

Lester gave up just a run and two hits in four innings in his second spring training start. He walked one and struck out five.

Meanwhile, Lee pitched five shutout innings, giving up just three hits while not issuing a walk and striking out three.

The Phillies reached Red Sox sinkerballer Burke Badenhop for three runs in the fifth.

Jonny Gomes hit a solo homer for Boston in the seventh.

 

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