> If the Sox had one potential weakness in this series, it was what they would do to bridge the gap between performances like Peavy’s and all-world closer Koji Uehara. Here again, Boston overcame a perceived weakness. With two outs in the sixth, lefty reliever Craig Breslow came in to face Loney with a runner on first. He promptly struck Loney out, then followed that whiff by fanning Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, and Desmond Jennings in order. A command specialist who had struck out just five batters per nine innings during the regular season, here was Breslow striking out the Rays’ three through six hitters, all swinging, at a pivotal point in the game. For the game, Boston’s relief combination of Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, and Uehara combined to toss 3⅓ scoreless innings, allowing no runs, just one hit, and striking out seven.
> The capper came from Boston’s opportunistic offense. The Sox combined to score seven runs in Games 3 and 4, with just one of those coming home on a base hit that left the infield; the rest were the result of errors, RBI groundouts and flyouts, and well-placed 14-hoppers that never reached the outfield grass. After falling behind 1-0 in the sixth Tuesday, the Sox tallied two runs to take the lead right back, using the following sequence: flyout, pinch-hit walk, strikeout, bloop single, wild pitch that scored the tying run and sent the go-ahead run to third when Jacoby Ellsbury took off with the pitch, RBI infield hit. The Sox added an insurance run in the ninth by stringing together two walks, a wild pitch, a hit-by-pitch, and a sacrifice fly. Uehara then set the Rays down 1-2-3 in the ninth, and that was that for Tampa Bay’s season.
A short, sweet summary of what took place last night.