Rays - 010 000 000 - 1 9 0The Red Sox complete a sweep of Tampa -- and take a 1.5-game lead in the East -- with an easy win highlighted by a 15-minute second-inning brawl.
Red Sox - 310 300 00x - 7 8 1
Shields hit Coco Crisp in the front thigh to lead off the second. Coco took one step towards first, then charged the mound. Unlike most baseball "fights", this one featured real and repeated punches. Crisp and Shields were ejected, as was Jonny Gomes, who was on top of the pile hammering punches down on Crisp (and a few on his own teammates). (Carl Crawford should have been ejected for the same activity.)
Manny Ramirez belted a three-run dong over everything in left in the first and then drove in two more runs with a bases-loaded single in the fourth. Lester's outing was walk-free (6.1-8-1-0-5, 108) and Mike Timlin and David Aarsdma finished up.
One broadcast note: When Kevin Youkilis (who went to right field when Jacoby Ellsbury was pulled after hurting his right wrist on a diving catch in the fourth) was plunked by Al Reyes in the eighth, Joe Magraine (FSN Tampa) said, with his voice dripping with sarcasm: "What a shame."
Youkilis had not done anything noteworthy in the game. Apparently, Magraine doesn't like how Yook complains on called strikes -- which is odd, since Magraine himself was groaning loudly tonight on several close pitches that were not called strikes on Red Sox hitters. It clearly made his night that a Red Sox hitter had been drilled -- and he was happy to share his glee. Classy guy.
Note the early starting time!
James Shields (3.24, 128 ERA+) / Jon Lester (3.67, 118 ERA+)