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Bo-Sox Torch Rays Bull Pen Win 8-7 ALCS Now 3-2

The Tampa Bay Rays were on their way to their first World Series Thursday night as they led the Boston Red Sox 7-0 after six and a half innings. The Rays had lit up Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka for 5 runs in just four innings. They added two against Red Sox reliever Manny Delcarmen in the top of the seventh.

The Rays starting pitcher Scott Kazmir had a stellar performance as he pitched six scoreless innings, giving up just two hits in the game. The usually raucous Fenway Park was almost silent, as the fans of Red Sox Nation figured their season would be over in just nine outs. The club had dug themselves too deep a hole too possibly climb out of.

The Bo-Sox never made that ninth out as they torched the Rays relievers for 4 runs in the seventh, and tied the contest with 3 more runs in the eighth. Boston completed the second biggest come back in MLB post season history in the bottom of the ninth as Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew hit a two out RBI single off Rays reliever J.P. Howell. Boston won the game 8-7, and now trail 3-2 in the ALCS, with the series shifting to Tropicana Field for game six on Saturday.

Dice-K who had pitched masterfully in the game one victory for Boston, struggled from the onset Thursday. B.J. Upton hit a 2 run homer off Matsuzaka in the first making it quickly a 2-0 Tampa Bay lead. The long ball would get the better of Dice-K again in the third as Carlos Pena hit a 2 run shot to right. Evan Longoria hit a solo blast to left and the Rays were ahead 5-0. Upton drove in two more runs off Delcarmen with a RBI double in the top of the seventh.

Boston is no stranger to adversity in the post season. They of course came back in the ALCS in 2004 against the New York Yankees after falling behind 3-0 on the way to their first World Series win since 1918. Last year the Bo-Sox were down 3-1 to the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS, and came back and won the World Series again. Whether they can accomplish a series come back against the Rays remains to be seen, but they were not ready for their season to end Thursday night.

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia got his club on the scoreboard with a RBI single off of Grant Balfour in the bottom of the seventh. Big Papi David Ortiz then hit a 3 run homer to right off Balfour, and the team was back in the contest at the end of the frame down only 7-4. Dan Wheeler got the last out for Tampa Bay in the seventh, but did not fare well in the eighth. Drew hit a 2 run blast to right, and then Coco Crisp tied the game with a RBI single, setting Boston up for the win in the ninth.

Justin Masterson got the win for the Red Sox, Howell took the loss for the Rays. James Shields will try to wrap up the series for Tampa Bay Saturday, Josh Beckett will look to extend it for Boston.

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