BOSTON — David Price was the ace the Red Sox have expected. David Ortiz is making what he’s calling his final season look historic.
Price threw eight shutout innings in his best start with Boston, Ortiz entered the All-Star break with impressive numbers after hitting a two-run homer, and the Red Sox sent the Tampa Bay Rays to their sixth straight loss, 4-0 Sunday.
The 40-year-old Ortiz heads to his 10th All-Star game with a .332 average and 72 RBIs in what he announced last fall will be his final year. It’s the most RBIs ever at the break by a player 40 or older.
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"It’s probably beyond our expectations coming into his final season," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Just a powerful and impressive first half."
Ortiz got dressed at his locker and joked, "I feel like I’m 30" before reflecting on his upcoming final All-Star game.
"It’s my last one," he said before heading out to begin his travel to San Diego. "I look forward to being a part of it."
The slugger has struggled with sore feet this season. He said he’s looking forward to some rest before the second half.
"All I worry about now is coming back in one piece," he joked.
Price (9-6) struck out 10, allowed four hits, walked one and hit two batters in snapping a personal two-game losing streak. Price didn’t give up a hit after the third inning, retiring 17 of the last 19 batters.
Coming into the break with a higher than expected ERA, the lefty said he never felt down.
Ziegler wore No. 29 after the Red Sox acquired the 36-year-old from Arizona for a pair of minor leaguers.
The right-hander said the last conversation he had with the Diamondbacks before the trade was the possibility of an extension.
"I said: `I’m open to whatever. Just come back to me and let me know,’" he said. "The next time I heard from them I was traded. That’s part of why I was caught off-guard and surprised how early it happened."
Boston receives $5.2 million from Milwaukee as part of Thursday’s trade to acquire infielder Aaron Hill from Milwaukee, offsetting most of the approximately $5.6 million remaining of his $12 million salary this year. The Brewers owe $1,733,333 on July 15 and Aug. 15, and the balance on Sept. 15. … The Red Sox are paying $50,000 to Cleveland as part of Friday’s trade to acquire utilityman Michael Martinez from the Indians.
Tampa Bay’s Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch twice, bringing his season total to 20.
Six-year-old Caroline Fahey of Newton, Massachusetts, sang the anthem flawlessly and got a huge hand from the fans and both dugouts.
Rays: They’re still planning that CF Kevin Kiermaier (broken left hand) will return Friday.
Red Sox: 1B Hanley Ramirez was out for his second straight day with a sore left shin … Both RHP Junichi Tazawa (tightness shoulder) and utility player Brock Holt (sprained left ankle) were unavailable.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (4-12, 4.61 ERA) is slated to start Friday when they host the Orioles and RHP Yovani Gallardo (3-1, 5.82).
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-3, 8.59) is expected to be recalled Friday and start the first of a three-game series against the Yankees in New York.