The Tampa Bay Rays are still in the playoff hunt with a week's worth of baseball to play, winning their seventh straight ballgame Wednesday night. Their 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox keeps them within three games of the second AL Wild Card.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester looked sharp, striking out five and allowing only four hits and a walk in six innings. Unfortunately for him, two of those four hits landed in the seats. Rays starter Alex Cobb could finish only five innings, but he was effective. He allowed only three hits and a run, recording five strikeouts.
The Red Sox manufactured the first run of the game on a walk, a ground out, and a single, but the Rays would take the lead in the fifth on back-to-back home runs from Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco. The Sox would get one back in the sixth when Dustin Pedroia led off with a walk and stole second, the 100th steal of his career. He would later score on Cody Ross' single. But the Rays got one right back in the seventh on a pair of singles and a ground-rule double from Jose Lobaton to make it 4-2.
The Rays bullpen gave up only one hit over the final four innings to nail it down.