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Rays lose testy game to Red Sox 3-2 on A.J. Pierzynski's RBI triple in 10th inning

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BOSTON - Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon gave the usual answer after a pitcher plunks a hitter and emotions boil over. Then he slipped in a quick little line that probably told the truth.

"You have to pitch (David) Ortiz inside and that was a little too far inside," Maddon said after the Rays lost to the Red Sox 3-2 in 10 innings Friday night. "Is my tongue in my cheek?"

Rays starter David Price hit Ortiz near the right hip in the first inning, setting off a night filled with benches clearing and the ejections of three Red Sox managers and a pitcher.

It came less than a week after the Rays and Red Sox had a scrum last weekend at Tropicana Field.

"I've got to establish my fastball in," Price said of hitting Ortiz. "I've got six lefties in that lineup. That's my favourite side of the plate to go to. Got to establish it in."

Maddon said last weekend had nothing to do with the situation.

"That's an easy assumption to make that what happened last week caused that, but I don't agree with that," he said. "It's always going to be felt from the perspective of the sides. I'm going to defend the Rays and they're going to defend the Red Sox. That moment was not precipitated by what happened last week."

Last October, Ortiz homered twice off Price in the AL playoffs. The lefty was irked afterward because he thought Ortiz admired one of the shots.

A.J. Pierzynski hit an RBI triple in the bottom of the 10th inning, lifting the Red Sox to their fifth straight win. By then, they were on their fourth manager of the night following the string of ejections.

Jonny Gomes scored the winning run. Fittingly, he reached base when he was hit by a pitch, a common theme that led to one bench-clearing scrum and nearly as many ejections as runs on a wild night at Fenway Park.

Juan Carlos Oviedo (1-2) plunked Gomes with one out in the 10th and Pierzynski followed with a drive to the triangle in right-centre, where the ball landed between Wil Myers and Desmond Jennings.

The Red Sox rushed out of the dugout — for once not to possibly fight their AL East rivals.

Andrew Miller (2-4) got the win after the Red Sox rallied from a 2-0 deficit.

These teams have a long history of bad blood, and Friday night was the latest chapter.

Price hit Ortiz near the hip on his first pitch to the Boston slugger in the first inning. That led to warnings for both benches and the ejection of Red Sox manager John Farrell when he came out to argue.

Price plunked Mike Carp in the fourth, igniting the tensions again as players rushed from both dugouts for a round of pushing and shoving, but no punching. Price was not ejected, which infuriated bench coach Torey Luvollo enough to get him tossed and sent to join Farrell in the clubhouse.

Boston retaliated in the sixth when Brandon Workman threw a high pitch behind Rays slugger Evan Longoria, who was visibly upset. Longoria and Pierzynski had a conversation at home plate, and a handful of players from both dugouts ventured a few steps onto the field, but no trouble ensued.

Workman was ejected and third base coach Brian Butterfield was automatically tossed with him, leaving hitting coach Greg Colbrunn as the fourth Red Sox skipper of the night.

The last-place Rays had won five straight against the Red Sox, including a three-game sweep last weekend that extended Boston's losing streak to 10 in a row. The Red Sox vented some of the frustration during a bench-clearing dustup Sunday at Tampa Bay that led to the ejection of three players: Gomes, and Yunel Escobar and Sean Rodriguez of the Rays.

David DeJesus led off the game with a double and went to third on an error by Grady Sizemore in right field. Ben Zobrist followed with a fielder's choice that allowed DeJesus to score and give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

The Rays added a run in the fifth when Escobar led off with a double and scored on an RBI single by DeJesus.

Boston cut it to 2-1 in the fifth on two-out singles by Xander Bogaerts, Dustin Pedroia and Ortiz. Bogaerts added an RBI double to tie it at 2-all in the seventh after Jackie Bradley Jr. led off with a single.

Price left after seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits. He struck out six, walked one and hit two batters.

NOTES: Boston RHP Rubby De La Rosa is scheduled to make his first start of the season Saturday against Tampa Bay RHP Jake Odorizzi (2-4). ... Price entered with a 6-1 record at Fenway Park. ... With Price's no-decision, Tampa Bay starting pitchers have gone 12 straight games without a victory. ... The Rays activated Ben Zobrist (thumb) from the 15-day DL and started him at second base. ... Boston placed 1B-C Ryan Lavarnway on the 15-day disabled list with a broken bone in his left hand and recalled OF-1B Alex Hassan from Triple-A Pawtucket.

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