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News » Boston Red Sox Inside Pitch 2009-09-04

Boston Red Sox Inside Pitch 2009-09-04

Boston Red Sox Inside Pitch 2009-09-04The Red Sox have struggled mightily at Tropicana Field over the last two seasons, but they managed to pull things together at exactly the right time.

Behind strong pitching performances from young hurlers Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz and some opportunistic offense, the Sox sandwiched a pair of victories around another mediocre Josh Beckett outing and took two out of three against the defending American League champion Rays.

It marked the first time the Sox have snatched a series from the Rays at the Trop in almost two years. The win put the Sox up by a commanding six games over the Rays in the AL wild-card race heading into the final four weeks of the regular season. Texas trails Boston by three games.

"This is a tough, tough place," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "I know we've had a run lately that hasn't been very good, and I think part of that is they're good. For us to win here, you have to play good games. Now you come down here and you've got to play clean baseball or you lose."

The numbers still aren't all that rosy. Thursday night's win only improved the Sox to 4-14 against the Rays inside the dome over the last two seasons.

But the Sox rose to the occasion when it mattered. Outfielder Rocco Baldelli, a former Ray, chipped in with a solo home run Thursday.

"The Rays play really well in this building, so to be able to come in here at any point and win a series is very big," Baldelli said.

RED SOX 6, RAYS 3: Jason Bay started things off by smashing a two-run double to stake the Red Sox to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning, and former Tampa Bay outfielder Rocco Baldelli helped pile on the runs with his seventh home run of the season.

Clay Buchholz (4-3) pitched six innings of three-run ball, and Daniel Bard, Billy Wagner and Jonathan Papelbon dominated the final three innings.

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Author:Fox Sports
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Added: September 4, 2009

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