Red Sox - 013 200 000 - 6 12 0Buchholz (6-6-1-1-8, 108) was very sharp after a rough beginning. With one out in the first, he allowed three consecutive singles to load the bases, then got John Jaso to GIDP. With runners on second and third with one out in the second, HH struck out Reid Brignac and Jason Bartlett.
Rays - 000 100 000 - 1 6 0
The only blemishes after that were Carlos Pena's solo home run and Bartlett's fifth inning double. Hideki Okajima (7-8) and Daniel Bard (9) retired all nine batters they faced.
David Ortiz kicked off the second with a home run down the right field line. The Sox got three singles and three walks and batted around against Davis in the third and took a 4-0 lead. Kevin Youkilis greeted reliever Lance Cormier with a two-run dong in the fourth.
Dustin Pedroia snapped out of his slump with three hits; Adrian Beltre also had three hits. Victor Martinez took a foul ball off his big left toe in the second inning and left the game for a pinch-runner in the third. X-rays were negative.
Clay Buchholz / Wade Davis
First of three games in Tampa.Ellsbury, CF
The Rays swept four games from the Red Sox at Fenway Park in mid-April, outscoring Boston 24-9. Tampa has gone 22-9 since then, with the Red Sox close behind at 20-12.
In this supposed make-or-break stretch against the Yankees, Twins, and Rays -- the three teams with the top winning percentages in the AL -- the Sox are 5-2. Boston has also won 13 of its last 20 games.
The Yankees are 5-10 since May 9 and have dropped from 0.5 GB to 6 GB in the standings. Knocking Tampa off the top of the hill may be a pipe dream, but 2.5 GB in the WC with 117 games to go? I think that's surmountable.
Peter Abraham has some recent hitting streaks:
Victor Martinez 11-for-last-21 (.524)The Yankees are off tonight and the Blue Jays are visiting the Angels.
Adrian Beltre 12-for-last-31 (.387)
David Ortiz 20-for-last-57 (.351)
Kevin Youkilis .397/.571/.810 over last 63 AB
Dustin Pedroia 4-for-last-39 (.103) and
Mike Lowell 0-for-last-10