The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays has been taken to another level. After a game that included four ejections, two bench-clearing altercations and two hit batters, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz lashed out at Rays ace David Price for "acting like a little girl."
"I had a lot of respect for the guy, man. It is over now. I have no more respect for him," said Ortiz, who was one of the Boston players to get hit. He also referenced Boston's Game 2 win in the 2013 ALDS against Tampa Bay, after which Price got upset at Ortiz for watching his second home run of the game for what he thought was too long. Big Papi said Price apologized to him after the playoff game and he thought the two had "straightened things out."
"So the first at-bat of the season against him, he drills me. That means ... It's a war. It's on," Ortiz said in the locker room after Boston's 3-2 win on Friday night. "Next time he hit me, he better put his gloves on."
On Friday night, Price hit Ortiz with a 94-mph fastball in the bottom of the first inning, causing both benches to clear and the home plate umpire Dan Bellino to issue warnings to both teams. Upset that Price wasn't ejected, Red Sox manager John Farrell fumed at Bellino and got ejected. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Price hit Boston first baseman Mike Carp, causing the benches to clear again. This time, Ortiz erupted out of the dugout and needed to be held back from Price. Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo was ejected. After Red Sox reliever Brandon Workman threw a pitch behind Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria in the sixth inning, he and Boston third base coach Brian Butterfield were tossed.
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Price, who stayed in the game after hitting both batters, told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times that he didn't intentionally drill Ortiz and Carp.
"I've got to establish my fastball in," Price said. "I've got six lefties in that lineup. It's my favorite side of the plate to go to."
Farrell thought otherwise.
"David's a heckuva pitcher," Farrell said, via ESPNBoston.com. "He comes in with two hit batters and eight walks on the year. He's got the lowest walk rate in the American League. And when he throws a ball and hits David Ortiz in the back, there is intent to that. They can dispute that all they want. There is intent to that pitch."
It was the second ejection-filled game between the two AL East rivals one week. Back on Sunday, the benches cleared and some players nearly fought each other, leading to three ejections.
Price responded to Ortiz's comments on Saturday. Via Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports: