Web Analytics and Web Statistics by NextSTAT The Boston Sports Nut: Rays hold on to Beat Sox 5-4

Monday, June 30, 2008

Rays hold on to Beat Sox 5-4

Monday, June 30. Tampa Bay, FL. Ever since they got rid of the 'Devil' the Rays have been playing like hell. Since shortening their name from the Devil Ray's, Tampa Bay has managed to turn things around this season and are now (unfortunately) highly competitive. There was a time the Sox ran up a lot of 'W's' against them. Such is not the case now.

No punches, no angry words exchanged. With first place on the line in the AL East, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Red Sox and Boston Red Sox stuck to playing baseball Monday night. James Shields scattered five hits over 6 1/3 innings and B.J. Upton and Gabe Gross homered, helping the Rays remain unbeaten at home against the Red Sox with a 5-4 victory that hiked their lead to 1 1/2 games in the division.

The Rays (50-32), surprising owners of the best record in baseball, have won six of seven and shrugged off a six-game losing streak to Boston, which is 6-0 against Tampa Bay at Fenway Park but 0-4 at Tropicana Field. "I knew from both sides nothing was going to happen. It was over," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We're professionals, they're professionals, and all that business is in the past." Shields was suspended for six games for his part in the brawl. This time, he limited Boston to two runs before Tampa Bay's bullpen barely held on to hand the Red Sox their 11th straight one-run road loss.

J.D. Drew hit his 16th homer for Boston, cutting Shields' lead to 4-2 in the sixth. It gave him 12 homers in June, third-most by a player in Red Sox history behind Jackie Jensen (14 in 1958) and Ted Williams (13, 1950). Lowell drove in Boston's first run with a fourth-inning single off Shields, who walked one and struck out five. The Rays scored four runs off Justin Masterson (4-2), three of them following two-out walks. Upton homered on the right-hander's first pitch of the game, and Gross added a two-run shot after the Boston starter walked Navarro in the fourth.

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