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Up next for Rays: Red Sox in ALCS

Red Sox postseason ace Josh Beckett struggled in his ALDS Game 3 start.

Associated Press

Red Sox postseason ace Josh Beckett struggled in his ALDS Game 3 start.

Up next: Red Sox

With the Rays and Red Sox both advancing Monday with Game 4 victories, the AL East rivals will meet this weekend in the American League Championship Series. Game 1 is Friday at Tropicana Field. The clubs share an interesting history, especially this season, which included a benches-clearing brawl, several dramatic finishes and, to many, a surprise ending: the Rays claiming the division title.

How they fared
Rays won season series 10-8, 8-1 at Tropicana Field.
Highlight
Dan Johnson hit a tying homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth at Fenway to spark a 5-4 win on Sept. 9, the day he was called up from Triple A.
Lowlight
The benches-clearing brawl at Fenway on June 4, jump-started when Red Sox outfielder Coco Crisp charged the mound after James Shields hit him with a pitch. The melee resulted in eight suspensions.
What's new?
The Red Sox, who entered the playoffs as the wild card, stunned many by beating the Angels, who had the AL's best regular-season record and beat the Sox in eight of nine meetings. For Boston, OF J.D. Drew is back from an injury but 3B Mike Lowell is out for the ALCS. Ace Josh Beckett — who had his ALDS start pushed back due to an oblique injury — came back to pitch Game 3, but wasn't at his best.
Skinny
The Rays will have homefield advantage, which is huge considering they swept the Sox twice at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay also got a big confidence boost when it won two of three at Fenway in September. But the defending world champion Sox are coming together at the right time.

vs. Red Sox (2008)

4/25 (H) W, 5-4 6/3 (A) L, 4-7 9/8 (A) L, 0-3

4/26 (H) W, 2-1 6/4 (A) L, 1-5 9/9 (A) W, 5-4

4/27 (H) W, 3-0 6/5 (A) L, 1-7 9/10 (A) W, 4-2

5/2 (A) L, 3-7 6/30 (H) W, 5-4 9/15 (H) L, 5-13

5/3 (A) L, 4-12 7/1 (H) W, 3-1 9/16 (H) W, 2-1

5/4 (A) L, 3-7 7/2 (H) W, 7-6 9/17 (H) W, 10-3

Joe Smith, Times staff writer

Up next for Rays: Red Sox in ALCS 10/06/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 8, 2008 1:07pm]

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