Rays - 004 300 000 - 7 8 1 Red Sox - 100 012 000 - 4 4 1
Lester (4-6-7-3-4, 81) gave up three home runs. Matt Joyce hit a grand slam with two outs in the third and Elliot Johnson and Carlos Pena went back-to-back in the fourth. (In his first nine starts this season, Lester had allowed a total of four homers.)
Kevin Youkilis singled home Mike Aviles to give Boston an early 1-0 lead. Down 7-1, Scott Podsednik singled to start the bottom of the fifth, stole second, and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's double.
Although Boston cut the lead to 7-4 in the sixth - Marlon Byrd and Aviles had the RBIs - the Red Sox went in order in each of the final three innings, failing to hit even one ball out of the infield.
Franklin Morales hit Luke Scott with a pitch with two out in the top of the ninth. Scott took about four or five steps towards the mound, and the benches and bullpens emptied. Words were yelled, but no punches were thrown.
Alex Cobb / Jon Lester
Aviles, SSThe Red Sox have won 10 of their last 13 games and Bobby Valentine says that if they keep playing well, "we're going to win a championship".
Laugh if you want, but Gordon Edes points out that since April 21, when Boston blew a nine-run lead to the Yankees,
the club is 18-12, the third-best record in the American League in that span, behind just the Baltimore Orioles (20-10) and Tampa Bay Rays (19-11). That's a winning percentage of .600. Overall, the Sox are now 22-22. If the Sox maintain that .600 pace, they would go 71-47 over their final 118 games, leaving them with a total of 93 wins.Pawtucket: Darnell McDonald begins a rehab assignment tonight. Daisuke Matsuzaka will start on Saturday. I guess that issue with his neck wasn't all that serious!