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Rays Complete Sweep Behind Dominant Price, Push Sox Well Back In East

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In four games, the Sox have gone from near the top of the world, to feeling right about at the bottom.

Sure, we'd already lost Pedroia et al. before that last game against the Orioles, but the Sox were hanging in there against all odds, nearly surpassing the Yankees for the lead for the first time since they were 1-0.

But oh, what a difference four games can make. And they were so perfectly set up, too. For the Red Sox, their two worst starters and a rookie. For the Rays, Garza, Niemann, and Price. The sweep wasn't destined, but it wasn't exactly far-fetched either.

The Sox put up a fight in the first two games, losing by just one run each time, but it was hard to say that about the first eight innings tonight. David Price pretty much threw only fastballs, and only a few Sox--noticeably Mike Cameron--seemed able to even make solid contact. Tim Wakefield, on the other hand, threw only knuckleballs, and it was catcher Kevin Cash that struggled to make any contact on them. Four balls were missed, including three wild pitches symptomatic of Wakefield's control-less six walk night. Add in a few opportune hits, and that's six easy runs for the Rays.

The Red Sox finally found their bats in the last inning with David Price finally out of the game. A combination of Balfour, Choate, and even Matt Garza allowed three hits, a walk, and two runs, actually bringing Kevin Youkilis to the plate as the winning run. A hard-hit line-out to center field ended the Red Sox rally, though, and the Rays finished the sweep with a 6-4 win.