Boston, MA– Maybe it is an anomaly or maybe it is a sign that everything is calming down and falling back down to earth, but whatever the reasoning behind it, the Boston Red Sox just swept the Tampa Bay Rays. At the outset of the season, it might not seem like this would be such a monumental achievement for Red Sox fans, but a rocky beginning to the 2019 campaign left a very low bar for the team to clear going forward.
Coming into the road series against the Rays, the Red Sox were in last place in the American League East at 6-13 and the Rays were in first at 14-5. Boston possessed one of the league's worst records and Tampa Bay owned one of the best. It was quite the mismatch until the Red Sox entirely flipped the script with two wins, by scores of 6-4 and 6-5, to win their first series of the season.
Yesterday, however, Boston took it to the next level by defeating the Rays again, this time by a score of 4-3. Now, Boston is still 9-13 and among the league's worst and Tampa Bay still owns first place, but obviously a sweep helps Boston erode the early hole they dug for themselves. Now in fourth place in the division, they are still five games back of Tampa and four games under .500, but it is a step in the right direction.
David Price had a good start for the Red Sox, going five innings and allowing just two runs, but that was still enough for Tampa to own a 2-1 lead with a Mitch Moreland home run being the sole run for Boston during the first half of the game. Mookie Betts and Steve Pearce scored on a Xander Bogaerts sixth inning single to give Boston a 3-2 lead. In the eighth, though, Matt Barnes allowed a solo shot to Tommy Pham and the game was tied. It ended up reaching 11 innings when Christian Vazquez hit a sacrifice fly for Rafael Devers and Marcus Walden and Ryan Brasier combined for the win and the save, respectively.
The next series on top for Boston starts a homestand at Fenway Park as the Detroit Tigers come to town.