Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Red Sox say the Rays are for real

ST. PETERSBURG — Inside their tomblike locker room, Red Sox players spoke in hushed tones about their latest defeat. But their tone spoke volumes about the way they have come to regard their new nemesis in the AL East.

The defending World Series champions lost their third straight game to the Rays on Wednesday night, a 7-6 come-from-behind stunner by the Rays that left Boston with nothing but respect for first-place Tampa Bay.

"They took it to us, three games in a row," said disheartened manager Terry Francona, whose team has lost five straight and is 31/2 games behind the Rays. "We came here to win, and we didn't do a very good job. They don't need me to evaluate them."

But a handful of players did, such as second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who did his best to lift his team out of its tailspin with a home run, a triple and two doubles.

"They pitched better than us, they hit better than us, they hit in the clutch better than us," said Pedroia, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games. "They beat us; that's why we didn't win any games. That's the way baseball is sometimes."

Pedroia singled out the spectacular over-the-shoulder catch that Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton made in the ninth inning on a drive by Kevin Youkilis, holding Youkilis to a sacrifice fly and Mike Lowell at first base. "It if goes over his head and hits the wall, (Lowell) probably has a good chance of scoring and tying the game up," Pedroia said.

To Pedroia, the secret is out about the Rays: "They're a good baseball team. There's no way around it. They pitch. They play great defense. And they have good players."

Reliever Manny Delcarmen echoed the sentiment.

"They've come a long way," he said. "To come from where they were last year is something. That's one of the things that's sparking them right now, and they're really on a roll. They're making things happen. But there's still a lot of baseball left."

Infielder Alex Cora isn't surprised by the Rays anymore.

"This is a good team," he said. "And everybody in the league knows it."

Red Sox say the Rays are for real 07/02/08 [Last modified: Friday, July 4, 2008 1:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.