BOSTON -- One year after finishing in last place, the Red Sox are on the brink of advancing to the American League Championship Series.
The Red Sox scratched out a 7-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday at Fenway Park, beating ace David Price on a night when starter John Lackey struggled.
After winning Game 1 of the best-of-five series Friday, the Red Sox will go to Florida with an opportunity to sweep the Rays. Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA) will start Game 3 on Monday at Tropicana Field.
The Red Sox got two home runs from David Ortiz, marking his first multi-homer postseason game. The last Red Sox player with a multi-home run game in the postseason was Dustin Pedroia, who had two homers in Game 2 of the 2008 ALCS.
Price, the 2012 American League Cy Young Award winner, allowed seven runs on nine hits in seven innings. The Rays also committed two errors.
Lackey entered the game with a 2.47 ERA in 13 starts at Fenway Park this season, earning the Game 2 nod over Buchholz. But Lackey struggled with his command all night, allowing the lead batter to reach in five of six innings.
Lackey was staked to a 2-0 lead in the first, as Jacoby Ellsbury led with a single before he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by catcher Jose Molina. Ellsbury scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Pedroia.
Ortiz, who was 8-for-37 against Price, hit a 1-and-0 pitch into the Red Sox bullpen for his first homer against the Rays' ace.
But Lackey quickly gave a run back. He walked leadoff hitter Ben Zobrist, allowed a single to Desmond Jennings and a sacrifice fly to Delmon Young. Lackey retired the next two, but his pitch count was at 36 after two innings.
The Red Sox went down in order in the second and Lackey had a 1-2-3 inning in the third, a sign the starters may settle into a pitcher's duel. Not so -- David Ross led off the third with a double and scored when Ellsbury doubled on a blooper over third baseman Evan Longoria's head.
Shane Victorino singled to left and Ellsbury took third before scoring on fielder's choice by Pedroia.
The lead grew to 5-1 in the fourth when Jonny Gomes reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a triple off The Wall by Stephen Drew, who had been hitless in 11 at-bats against Price. But Lackey continued to struggle, as the Rays got two runs in the fifth when James Loney hit a two-run double off The Wall.
The top of the order delivered again for the Red Sox when Ellsbury led the fifth with a single and scored on Pedroia's double to left. Again, though, Lackey failed to shut down the Rays and he was lifted with one out in the sixth.
Jennings singled, took second on a ground out and scored on a single by Yunel Escobar, Lackey's 95th and final pitch. Craig Breslow, pride of Trumbull and Yale, retired the next two to preserve the lead.
Breslow worked the seventh, aided by a nifty 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Junichi Tazawa pitched the eighth and Ortiz added an insurance run with his second homer in the eighth.
Koji Uehera was perfect in the ninth for the save. Uehara threw 11 pitches, all strikes.
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