The Red Sox began their slow and painful climb into the playoff race with a solid 3-1 victory on the road over the Rays.
The Rays weren't able to get to Morales all night, but did make him labor a bit. He tossed 95 pitches over 5 innings, allowing just 2 hits and striking out 5. Atchison, Miller (who surrendered a hit to the only batter he faced), Albers, Padilla and Aceves took the game home. The game was never really in jeopardy.
The Sox offense wasn't terribly effective either, but did enough. Ortiz hit a solo shot in the first (his 23rd), Ciriaco (CIRIACO!!!) was 3-3 (.625 through 4 games) with 2 RBIs and a stolen base. Aviles, Salty and Jacoby each had a hit. Ellsbury didn't look terribly comfortable at the plate, despite the hit.
A couple scary moments for the Sox towards the end of the game, too. Upton lined out to right and Sweeney made a nifty sliding catch. He popped up, Zobrist tagged up at second and took off for third. Sweeney threw the ball to the cut-off man who threw a laser to Punto at third, but was spiked by Zobrist while making the tag. It didn't look great as Punto took a jog down the third base line, but he stayed in. Also, who'd think we'd be panicking out the loss of Punto? Then, in the 9th, Ciriaco (CIRIACO!!!) laid down a sacrifice bunt and bolted to first. Thankfully he slid into the base (he was out, hence the sacrifice), but if he hadn't slid he would have had a major collision with Pena. And I don't know if you've seen Pena and Ciriaco, but an ambulance would probably have had to drive out onto the field, Madden 95 style, and hauled him away. Also, who'd ever think we'd panic over the prospect of losing Ciriaco?
Good game by the Sox. Nice to have a victory over another AL East opponent, even if it's the other team clawing to stay out of the basement.