After a satisfying series win in Cleveland, it was off to Tampa Bay, where the Sox can cash in 4 easy wins against the bottom-dwelling, perennially-losing Rays.
Now to confirm my statement by looking up the Rays' record in the paper to find that they'reâ€¦ 13 games over .500 in first place in the AL East?!
Cue Moe Szyslak: "Whaaaaaaaaa?"
Yes it's true, the Rays are ahead of the Yankees, ahead of the Red Sox in first place in the AL East. Actually, they have the best win-loss record in the entire American League, and I'm sure it's not going to shock you that it's the first time in franchise history they can say that going into June.
So despite the fact that they're still drawing less fans than professional badminton (it takes a Trace Adkins post game concert to set anybody in that stadium), the Rays were not going to be easy pickin's.
I guess we shouldn't be all that surprised at the result then, as the Sox lost all but one of the four games played at the Trop over the weekend. Spurred by outstanding baserunning and starting pitching, Joe Maddon's crew pulled out three close games-two in walk off fashion-to keep their 1-game lead on Boston in the AL East and send the Sox to within one game of those pesky Minnesota Twins in the Central.
More on Ozzie's fervent reaction to his team's malaise in a bit.