ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz and David Price have a contentious history, and now Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Chris Archer isn’t fond of the Boston Red Sox star’s on-field actions.
Archer allowed a 376-foot, three-run home run to Ortiz in the top of the third inning Sunday in Boston’s 3-2 victory at Tropicana Field that snapped Tampa Bay’s nine-game winning streak.
Ortiz, who declared "war" on Price after the Rays’ ace plunked him May 30 at Fenway Park, sent Sunday’s decisive home run streaking over the right-field wall to give Boston a 3-0 lead. Ortiz flipped his bat toward Boston’s dugout and made his usual methodical trot around the bases.
Apparently, the sight irked Archer.
A day after the May incident, Price told FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal that Ortiz "kind of looks like he’s bigger than the game of baseball." On Sunday, Archer was asked about Ortiz’s bat flip and stroll around the bases.
"I think it was a perfect example of what Price said," Archer said. "All my interactions with him outside of (baseball), 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 retaliate, nobody look at him a funny way or nobody pitch him inside.
"I don’t know why he feels like that. But obviously, he feels the way David said he does. He feels like he’s bigger than the game. He feels like this show is all about him, which in reality, if I don’t walk Daniel Nava or if I don’t give up an infield single to (Dustin) Pedroia, his one home run means nothing. I hope that he realizes that there’s more that goes into it than just him. And, I don’t know, I feel like you can’t say that your true character is defined by one action, but multiple actions speak to who you are."
"He’s not the right guy to be saying that, I don’t think," Ortiz said, according to The Associated Press. "He’s got two days in the league."
Rays manager Joe Maddon, for his part, offered Ortiz respect.
"He played it up pretty good," Maddon said of Ortiz. "Again, you’d have to talk to him about that. I’ve had so much respect for that guy over the years. And he’s an iconic figure in that city, and I’ve always thought of him (to be) a very classy person, I always have. … The man has done so much for the game here and also back in his country. There’s those moments that occur like that. It causes pause and makes you think a little bit, because I have so much respect for him."
Archer permitted three runs and six hits in six innings for the loss on Sunday. He’s 6-6 with a 3.37 ERA in 21 starts this season.