The Rays have been the best story in baseball this year, getting contributions from every player. Whether it is B.J. Upton or Eric Hinske, or Evan Longoria, or Troy Percival - the Rays have gotton productivity from every young and old player. Maybe the Yankees and Mets should take note, because the Rays know how to play 'Real' baseball.
Tampa wasted no time getting it started, as Upton homered in the bottom of the first to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
The Red Sox tied it, when Mike Lowell drove in Dustin Pedroia with a single to left in the fourth. In the past the Rays would shrink at the pressure that the Red Sox were on the move, but that was the past. That was the Devil Rays of old.
With a runner on in the bottom of the fourth, Gabe Gross lifted a pitch deep into right field to give the Rays a 3-1 lead. They added to it in the fifth after Carlos Pena, who has returned from extended time on the DL, doubled to right to bring in the versitle Willy Aybar.
Still, the Red Sox answered. Captian choke J.D. Drew actually didn't choke as he blasted a solo shot to cut the deficit to 5-2, in the sixth.
In the ninth, Percival started to struggle, and almost blew the game. With Mike Lowell and Kevin Youklis already on, Branden Moss doubled to right to bring home Lowell. Then Jason Varitek brought in Youklis with a sac. fly.
That was enough for manager Joe Madden, who pulled out his leader, in favor of J. P. Howell. Howell managed to get Julio Lugo to ground out to second after a six pitch battle to earn his second save.
James Shields got his sixth win; former Met, Dan Wheeler earned his 20th hold of the year, and should be considered for an All-Star appearance. Jason Masterson lost the game, he is now 4-2.
Boxscore. Photo above is of Gabe Gross.