by Steve Carney
David Price threw six innings of three-hit ball , and James Loney had three hits and drove in four as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox 8-4 Sunday at Charlotte Sports Park.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the first, as Ben Zobrist doubled to left with one out and scored two batters later as James Loney's infield single could not be handled cleanly by Will Middlebrooks at third base.
The Rays started adding insurance in the third, as Ryan Hanigan walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a single by David DeJesus, and after a walk by Zobrist, Evan Longoria's fielder's choice was mishandled at second base to load the sacks. A passed ball by David Ross then allowed Hanigan to come home and make it 2-0.
Tampa Bay started to pout it on in the fifth as Hanigan drew a walk and scored on consecutive singles by DeJesus and Zobrist, and Loney drove both runners in with a double for a 5-0 lead.
The Rays also got an RBI double by DeJesus, and two more runs on a single by Loney for an 8-0 advantage.
Price left with two out and a pair of runners on in the seventh. However, Heath Bell allowed both inherited runners to score, cutting the lead to 8-2.
Juan Sandoval allowed two more runs in the ninth on a home run by Deven Marrero and a RBI double by Sean Coyle, but Boston could get no closer.
The Rays will have a day off Monday before traveling to Fort Myers for the first night game of the spring on Tuesday against Minnesota. Matt Moore will get the start against Phil Hughes. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, with coverage on WDAE starting at 7:00.
NOTES: The team announced that 70 staff members had their heads shaved for the team's "Fortune Favors The Bald" event in support of the Pediatric Cancer Foundation, including 29 players and coaches. Principal owner Stuart Sternberg, president Matt Silverman, and executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman were all among those who had their heads shaved. RHP Alex Cobb, whose turn in the rotation is scheduled for Monday, will throw in a minor-league game against the Twins in Fort Myers. IF Sean Rodriguez, who missed this weekend with a tight left hamstring, is expected to play in a minor-league game on Tuesday. Manager Joe Maddon said RHP Juan Carlos Oviedo will likely face hitters for the first time either Monday or Tuesday, but called it a "long shot" for him to be ready for Opening Day March 31. Oviedo missed the first month of camp due to visa issues.