Jeff Keppinger staked David Price to an early lead, and the Cy Young candidate did the rest to pick up his American League- tying 19th win.
Price struck out 13 in his second complete game of the season and Keppinger smacked a three-run homer in the second inning as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Boston Red Sox, 5-2, in the opener of a brief two-game set.
With his 13 punchouts, Price (19-5) and fellow starter James Shields became only the seventh set of teammates in MLB history to tally 200 strikeouts in back-to-back seasons.
The lanky left-hander surrendered two runs, scattered seven hits and walked none for the Rays, who have won six straight games but still sit three games behind the Oakland Athletics for the final AL wild card spot.
"He could win the Cy Young ... great durability, great competitor," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said of Price.
Clay Buchholz (11-7) allowed five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and two walks for Boston
The Rays opened the scoring with a three-run second.
Evan Longoria and Luke Scott worked consecutive walks to start the second frame before Keppinger banged a three-run shot over the Green Monster and off the light stanchion in left field.
"For the first time in a long time (Buchholz) walked two guys," said Valentine. "He just didn't have a good feel for any of his pitches and then he threw on down the middle to put us down 3-0. Other than that he was really good."
Boston, though, plated a run in the second and third to make it a one-run game.
Danny Valencia ripped a two-out RBI single to center field in the second, and with runners on second and third and two down in the third, a Price balk allowed Daniel Nava to come home, which made it 3-2.
The Rays got both runs back in the sixth when Jose Molina belted a two-out, RBI single to left field. A fielding error by Nava on the play allowed Carlos Pena to score and extend the advantage to 5-2.
Price and Shields joined the Los Angeles Dodgers' Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale (1962-65), the Arizona Diamondbacks' Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson (2001-02), the California Angels' Nolan Ryan and Frank Tanana (1976-77), the Philadelphia Athletics' Eddie Plank and Rube Wadell (1904-05), the Cleveland Indians' Luis Tiant and Sam McDowell (1967-68) and the Detroit Tigers' Mickey Lolich and Joe Coleman (1971-73) ... The Angels' Jered Weaver also has 19 wins ... The Washington Nationals' Gio Gonzalez leads MLB with 20 victories.