Archer's struggles continue, Rays fall to Red Sox 7-3

Losses such as the 12-8 setback on Thursday represent the stuff of potentially far-reaching lament. The Sox signed Price in part because of his role as what former Rays teammate Chris Archer has described repeatedly as a "culture-changer", but such concerns were secondary to the notion that Price simply would give the Red Sox an excellent chance of winning every time he took the mound.

The Red Sox' 12-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday packed all that weird, wild and ultimately disappointing stuff into one game.

The Sox scored five runs in the first, highlighted by a two-run home run by Dustin Pedroia, his first of the season, along with doubles from Xander Bogaerts and Travis Shaw.

The Rays tacked on three runs in the ninth.

"He's been very consistent with staying out of the middle of the plate", Red Sox manager John Farrell said after Porcello handled the weak-hitting Rays lineup.

As it turned out, Price gave the Red Sox only 3 2/3 innings, marking only the eighth time in 217 career starts that he failed to finish the fourth inning.

The biggest story of the game was Price, as the left-hander lasted just 3 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits, while walking two, hitting two and striking out six. His ERA is 7.06 after four starts. The offense exploded for five runs.

Mookie Betts singled to lead off and Pedroia launched his first home run, over the Green Monster. Cuevas was charged another run in the ninth before Steve Pearce tagged Noe Ramirez for a two-run double that completed the scoring. At first the play was first ruled as an error on Ramirez, but was later changed to a hit charging Price with eight earned runs. Christian Vazquez was able to draw a walk in between Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Farrell obviously gets his share of the blame when this team loses, and yesterday's had its share of curious decisions, good and bad.

In all likelihood, this is just an early-season blip for Price, a moment when his usually precise execution has given way to the sort of meltdowns that have nearly never been seen in his career.

The Rays gave up five runs in the first inning but scored six in the fourth to take a three-run lead.

Nationals 7, Marlins 0: Bryce Harper hit a grand slam, one of four home runs in a seven-run seventh inning for Washington. Price was quickly replaced by Matt Barnes, who got the last out of the inning.

Price is a stud, he's struggling a little bit to start the year, but is anyone really that nervous about a perennial Cy Young award contender after a few starts? "To not have that translate to the game, that's frustrating".

Odorizzi left after allowing a leadoff double to Bogaerts in the fifth. The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out, but both Bradley and Betts struck out. Cuevas walked Pearce after retiring Longoria.

Mets 11, Phillies 1: Neil Walker hit two of the Mets' six home runs, Logan Verrett tossed six scoreless innings and NY beat Philadelphia. Offensively, he went 1-for-4 and drove in his first run of the season on a single in the seventh inning.

"I have so much respect for him", Longoria said. "It's incredible how quickly it happened".

To clear space for Cuevas on the active roster, Boston optioned Hernandez to Pawtucket.

- The second Boston marathon of the week lasted four hours and 16 minutes at Fenway Park on Thursday. Compare that to the Sea Dogs' 17-inning game last Friday, which lasted 4 hours, 33 minutes.

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