The brooms were out in St. Petersburg tonight as the Boston Red Sox rocked the Rays 11-3. This was an impressive series as the Red Sox completed the first sweep of the Rays at Tropicana Field since 2002.

Completing the sweep was important and all, but now the Red Sox have climbed back into the AL East, sitting only 5.5 games behind the Rays and now six games over .500. 

Throughout the series the themes were run prevention and solid, quality pitching, the two themes this ball club is built on.

The team witnessed strong outings from Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, and John Lackey. It appears that Lester is now getting in the “zone” and Lackey’s and Buchholz’s performances are definitely confidence boosters. 

The Sox scored a total of 19 runs while holding the Rays to only four. Quite simply, that’s just dominance. 

Besides the strong pitching performances, including the one-hit shutout on Tuesday, Boston has shown some quality hitting performances, too. 

David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, and Adrian Beltre were the team’s offensive powers this series. Ortiz went 5-11 with two home runs while tallying up five RBI. Youkilis also had five hits. But the biggest contributor of them all was Beltre who went 7-13 with an astonishing seven RBI, six of them coming in the rubber game. 

It appears that Boston has avenged the four-game sweep that Tampa Bay completed on Boston back in April.

Boston looks good. They are pitching very well, from their starting pitching to the bullpen. And their bats have awakened. 

Now is the time for Boston to gain some momentum after going 9-4 through a tough stretch against American League powerhouses. Boston will open up what appears to be somewhat of an “easy” stretch against Kansas City, Oakland, Baltimore, and Cleveland. 

As Terry Francona said after completing the three game sweep, “Someone asked the other day if I think (good pitching) is contagious. If it is, I hope we get an epidemic.”

The Sox hope that their pitching staff will be the key to their success in their climb in the American League East. 

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