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Rays' roadshow pulls into Boston
The road warrior Rays are coming to town.
Tampa Bay was due to roll into Fenway Park with bellies full of champagne and beer quaffed in the visitors’ clubhouse after Wednesday night’s seldom-in-doubt 4-0 AL wild card victory over Terry Francona’s Indians.
The odds have been against them for nearly a month. The odds mean nothing to them.
Indians manager Terry Francona started rookie Danny Salazar, who had 10 major-league games of experience. Salazar’s early heat matched the passion of the home fans.
When Salazar’s heater went down a tick, though, the Rays were ready. Delmon Young smashed the first pitch of the third inning — a 95-mph fastball — well over the left-field wall to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.
That was more than enough support for Cobb and the Tampa Bay bullpen.
“We’ve battled through some big-time, extreme ups and downs,” Cobb said. “Getting down to this latter part of the season in September, beginning in September we struggled pretty hard. We felt it in the locker room. We were not happy with ourselves. We knew we had ourselves in good position to get into the postseason, and we were watching that slip away. Later on, something clicked. We got hot.
“They really pitched well against us,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said of this year’s Sox-Rays meetings. “We just did not swing the bats well, and that speaks to their pitching. They have a really good pitching staff — they have a great starting staff, they have a tremendous bullpen. I do anticipate a lot of the same in the playoffs as we continue.
“I’m so proud of our guys,” he said. “You had to be in the dugout to see. Our guys were fine from the very first pitch. There was nothing going on except focus and ‘let’s go’ and a lot of life, man.”
Material from Newsday was used in this report.
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