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Patriots’ Day Pummeling: Rays Sweep Red Sox

J.D. Drew (Globe Photo)

Tampa Bay slapped the Red Sox all over Fenway Park, again outclassing them in every aspect of baseball, wrapping up their four-game series sweep with an easy 8-2 trouncing that was not as close as the score might indicate.

The Rays jumped out to another early lead in the first inning and never looked back, adding five more runs in the third inning. They never trailed in the series, leading for 26 of the last 27 innings played, while outscoring Boston 24-9 in the four-game set. The Red Sox now trail Tampa and New York by a full six games, and have gone 1-6 in seven home matchups with their divisional rivals.

John Lackey took the loss today, getting no help from the defense nor the offense, as several catchable balls fell near Red Sox outfielders for extra-base hits. Lackey allowed eight runs on nine hits in 3 1/3 innings.

Jeff Neimann picked up the win for Tampa, his first of the season, by throwing seven strong innings. The only blemish on his record was Jeremy Hermida’s two-run homer in the 7th.

Jason Bartlett had an RBI triple for Tampa, and Evan Longoria added a two-run double.

Carl Crawford stole his 31st consecutive base against Boston; a shocking number, because it means that 32 attempts ago, the Red Sox actually were able to throw him out.

In positive news for the bumbling Red Sox, Bill Hall upped his average to .091 with a single in the 7th, David Ortiz improved his on-base percentage to .240 with a fourth-inning walk, Victor Martinez only hit into one double play (his 6th of the season), and Ramon Ramirez dropped his ERA to 6.43 with two scoreless innings of mop-up relief.

The Red Sox finished the series a laughable 0-30 with runners in scoring position. They haven’t had the lead at any point in any game for 48 consecutive innings, dating back to April 14th. The last time the Red Sox had the lead in a game, Larry King was still married, Keifer Sutherland was still allowed into British strip clubs, and the volcano hadn’t yet erupted in Iceland.

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