The Red Sox made it a clean sweep over first-place Tampa Bay with an 11-3 wipeout at The Trop, as Adrian Beltre (pictured) had one of the great games of his career, blasting two home runs (one while his knee touched the ground), a triple and had 6 RBI.
David Ortiz also added a two-run shot for his 10th dinger of the season.
John Lackey pitched a gutty game. Wasn't outstanding, but got to the 7th inning, allowing just two runs.
The Red Sox were swept by the Rays in April and looked really bad in the process. There were some "experts" who felt the Red Sox didn't belong on the same field as Tampa Bay, with all their stolen bases and superior pitching. Well, the Sox sent the Rays a message this week to not get too comfortable in first place. They clearly don't own it.
The Sox completed their first three-game sweep at St. Pete since 2001. (They actually had two four-game sweeps there in 2002.) The Red Sox have now won 8 of 9, and have won 23 of 35 since Tampa Bay won four straight at Fenway in April. It was a critical run for the Red Sox against some of the best clubs in baseball, and they've let them all know that those who have written them off have done so at their own peril, including Tampa Bay.
Yep, paid back with interest.
The Red Sox now play four at Fenway with Kansas City, with Daisuke Matsuzaka opening the series. The Red Sox are now in third place having passed Toronto, 5 1/2 back of TB, and two behind New York for second place.