Rays - 010 021 000 - 4 8 2 Red Sox - 202 110 01x - 7 11 0
The top of Boston's order took charge on Saturday as the Red Sox grabbed an authoritative 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled twice, doubled, drove in a run, and scored three times. ... Dustin Pedroia drove in three runs. ... David Ortiz hit two solo home runs. ... John Lackey (5.1-7-4-3-6, 95) was not sharp, as Tampa Bay's leadoff man reached base in five of Lackey's six innings.
The Red Sox struck early. Ellsbury singled in the first, stole second, advanced to third on catcher Jose Molina's throwing error, and scored on Pedroia's sac fly. Then Ortiz launched a dong into the right-center field bleachers.
Back-to-back doubles in the third from David Ross and LBJ (on consecutive pitches from David Price (7-9-7-2-5, 102)) brought in one run and Pedroia's fielder's choice made it 4-1. Stephen Drew's triple scored Jonny Gomes and gave the Sox a 5-1 lead in the fourth.
Tampa Bay rallied in the fifth. Yunel Escobar led off with a ground-rule double to left and Lackey plunked David DeJesus. Both runners scored on James Loney's double, making it 5-3. When Evan Longoria followed with a walk, the potential tying runs were on base. Lackey bore down and struck out Ben Zobrist looking. And Boston quickly added another run in the home half: Ellsbury singled and Pedroia doubled.
With Boston up 6-4 and a man on first in the sixth, Craig Breslow relieved Lackey. He retired two pinch-hitters on a total of four pitches. Tampa Bay put two men on in the seventh, but Breslow got Zobrist to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
Junichi Tazawa allowed a one-out single in the eighth, and was helped by another 4-6-3 double play, this one off the bat of Escobar.
Koji Uehara had no problems in the ninth. Matt Joyce struck out swinging on three pitches. Jose Lobaton struck out swinging on three pitches. Wil Myers grounded out to Mike Napoli at first base.
A win in Tampa Bay on Monday (Game Time: 6 PM) can send the Red Sox to the ALCS for the first time since 2008. Teams that have taken a 2-0 ALDS series lead have won 38 of 43 series.