With an extra-innings walk off victory over the Red Sox at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, the Tampa Bay Devil*Rays will travel to Boston for the next three games of the American League Championship Series.
Boston won the first game 2-0 based on strong pitching from Daisuke Matusaka. Matsusaka outdueled right hander James Shields of the Rays. Boston scored on a sacrifice fly early and added an insurance run late on a sinking liner from Kevin Youklis that glanced off of Carl Crawford's glove in left field.
In the second game both clubs came out hitting and sent starters Josh Beckett and Scott Kazmir to early showers. At the end of nine innings the score was tied at 8 after a number of lead changes culminating in a tying run by Boston in the top of the ninth on a wild pitch by Dan Wheeler. Both teams depleted their bullpens and rookie David Price ended up with the win after B. J. Upton managed to plate the speedy Fernando Perez from third on a shallow fly ball to right. J. D. Drew's throw was up the line. Quite an exciting baseball game, though it was over five hours long.
Early this season I expressed concern about the Rays' ability to win on the road against New York and Boston. The Rays took a three game series from the Red Sox late in the season. Hopefully the Rays can build on that during this road trip.