BOSTON -- The Rays-Red Sox rivalry, a spirited affair for the better part of a decade, may have just entered another dimension.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, outraged that Tampa Bay left-hander David Price hit him Friday night with a 94-mile-an-hour fastball on the first pitch he threw to him since Ortiz homered twice off him in Game 2 of the American League division playoffs last October, said he has lost all respect for the Rays pitcher.
“It’s a war," Ortiz said after the Sox rallied for a 3-2, 10-inning win over Tampa Bay for their fifth straight win and second walkoff in two nights. “It’s on. Next time I see him, he better put his gloves on. I have no respect for him anymore.”
Price, asked after the game whether he’d hit Ortiz intentionally, said: “I’ve got to establish my fastball in. I had six lefties in that lineup, that’s my favorite side of the plate to go to. Got to establish it in.”
Ortiz said he spoke with Price by phone after the playoffs last October, and thought that any lingering issues had been resolved between the two.
“I had a lot of respect for the guy, man," he said. “It is over now. I have no more respect for him. Last year, we kicked his butt in the playoffs and he went off talking crap about everyone.
“We go to talk on the phone after we kind of straightened things out. He was upset and then I let him know how I felt. Later on he called me and apologized because he knew he was wrong. Everything was cool, so the first at-bat of the season against him, he drills me.”
Ortiz had not faced Price last Saturday in Tropicana Field, when Price gave up five runs in the first inning and then shut out the Sox on one hit over the next seven innings in a game the Rays eventually rallied to win, 6-5, in 15 innings.
“I was surprised. You can’t be acting like a little girl out there. You aren’t going to win all of the time. When you give it up, that is an experience for the next time. If you are going to be acting like a little b--- every time you give it up and put your teammates in jeopardy, that is going to cost you.
“I was going to let him know. I respect everyone in this league and expect the same from everyone. If you are mad because I take you deep twice, let me let you know. I’ve got almost 500 home runs in this league. That’s part of the game, son.”
Last Oct. 5, the Red Sox beat the Rays, 7-4. Ortiz’s first home run off Price went to right-center field. The second home run was a towering drive down the right-field line, over the Pesky Pole. Ortiz lingered at home plate to determine whether the ball was fair or foul before beginning his long, satisfied stroll around the bases. Perhaps too long and too satisfied for Price’s taste.
Friday night, plate umpire Dan Bellino issued warnings to both dugouts and Price after Ortiz was hit. Manager John Farrell, enraged that Price was not ejected, was ejected for making that point to Bellino. Eventually two other Sox coaches -- bench coach Torey Lovullo and third-base coach Brian Butterfield -- also were ejected, as was Sox starting pitcher Brandon Workman, for throwing a ball behind the back of Rays star Evan Longoria.
Red Sox first baseman Mike Carp also was hit by a pitch from Price in the third inning -- that led to Lovullo’s ejection -- and Jonny Gomes was hit by a pitch by reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo in the 10th. Gomes eventually scored the winning run on a triple by A.J. Pierzynski in which Rays outfielders Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers collided.
“When we have four people ejected and also three players hit by pitches and they have none, that’s a hard one to figure out," manager John Farrell said. “He threw at Ortiz and hit him in the back. There’s intent to that."
Price was asked if he expected anger to carry over between the teams. “I’m sure it will,”