The Red Sox did the majority of their damage in the third inning when they scored eight runs, four off of Rays starter David Price before he left the game with triceps tightness. The inning was capped by a grand slam from Stephen Drew, the third of the year for Red Sox hitters. The Red Sox finished with six extra-base hits in the win.
The offense was led by Drew (four RBIs), Will Middlebrooks (home run, RBI) and Dustin Pedroia (RBI) as all three players recorded two hits. Every Red Sox starter scored a run except Shane Victorino.
Jon Lester improved to 6-0 on the year with another ace-like performance. Lester went seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and struck out five. Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless eighth and Jose De La Torre the ninth to secure the win.
The teams play the rubber game of their three-game series tomorrow night (7:10, NESN) with Felix Doubront going against Alex Cobb for the Rays.
What they'll be saying: This was a much needed win and offensive outburst for the Sox as they entered the game losers of nine of their last 11. They were able to string together hits, particularly in the third inning, which was something the team couldn't seem to do in their recent skid and was a major reason for their lack of production. The team had four straight hits in the eight-run inning ... Lester has been outstanding this season, clearly a man on a mission to offset last season. Although he had to battle all game long, unlike his last outing (a complete game one-hit shutout), he was able to get out of trouble when he needed to as the Rays went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.