ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Chris Archer saved his brushback pitch for David Ortiz until after the game.
Ortiz hit a three-run homer to help the Boston Red Sox end Tampa Bay’s nine-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory over the Rays on Sunday.
Ortiz flipped his bat and took his time rounding the bases after his 25th home run, a shot off Archer’s changeup in the third. That was enough for Boston to stop its losing skid at five.
Archer served an up-and-in fastball postgame, reiterating comments made earlier this season by teammate David Price that the Red Sox slugger thinks he is bigger than the game.
“All my interactions with him off the field have been good. But when it comes to him on the field, I don’t know what makes him think that he can showboat the way he does, and then nobody retaliates,” Archer said.
“I don’t know why he feels like that. But obviously he feels the way David (Price) said he does, he feels like he’s bigger than the game. He feels like the show is all about him,” he said.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said Ortiz’s action caused him to pause and reflect.
“He played it up pretty good,” Maddon said. “He’s an iconic figure in that city, and I’ve always thought of him a very classy person. The man has meant so much for the game and also back in his country. There’s those moments that occur like that. I’m not saying that my respect diminished, it’s just something that makes you think a little bit more.”
Said Ortiz: “I tell you, man, maybe they get too sensitive about things. Just leave it like that.”
“He’s a guy that I think he’s going to be pretty good,” Ortiz said about Archer, “but it’s going to take some time to get to that level.”
“There’s always going to be comments out there. He’s not the right guy to be saying that, I don’t think. He’s got two days in the league,” he said, adding some expletives.
Price and Ortiz had a verbal skirmish after a May 30 game when Price hit Ortiz with a pitch. The pair faced each other in the series opener Friday night, and the matchup was incident-free.
Archer (6-6) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings, losing for the first time since June 24.
Ortiz’s homer was his fifth in seven games and his 29th at Tropicana Field, most among visiting players. It was the 456th of his career.
Desmond Jennings drove in the Tampa Bay’s runs with a double off Boston starter Allen Webster in the third.
Webster (1-0) pitched 5 1-3 innings in his major league season debut, giving up two runs on three hits and five walks while striking out four. He left after Jackie Bradley caught Evan Longoria’s 400-foot line drive before crashing into the center field wall in the sixth.
Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 21st save, striking out the last three batters.
The win was the first of the season for the Red Sox at Tropicana Field, where they had lost five straight.
NOTES: Derrick Brooks, who will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame next month, threw the ceremonial first pitch. … The Rays open a three-game interleague series Monday night with RHP Jake Odorizzi (6-8) pitching against Milwaukee RHP Kyle Lohse (11-4).
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press