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05/25/10 2:12 PM ET

Revived Red Sox showing life vs. Rays

To paraphrase David Ortiz, the Boston Red Sox are done as American League East powerhouses when they say they're done.

And neither of them have said anything else in the first two games of this series but "We're b-a-a-a-ck!"

With Ortiz's two-out third-inning double delivering both runs in Tuesday's 2-0 win, the Red Sox stayed scalding with their seventh win in eight games.

Becoming the second visiting team to score consecutive wins this season in Tropicana Field -- somewhat oddly, the Royals were first on April 30-May 1 -- underscored Boston's quick revival.

If the Rays, still in possession of the Majors' best record, by far, have a rebuttal, it could be delivered by Matt Garza.

Garza has virtually owned the Red Sox, particularly at home. Still, we say "could" because it will be hard for him to outdo James Shields, Tuesday's loser despite a brilliant eight-inning, four-hit effort in which he retired the final 16 men he faced.

Tampa Bay has to talk back with some offense. Getting one run in the first two games against the Red Sox -- not to mention all of one hit off Jon Lester and his relievers -- has brought into focus some of the sickly averages the Rays have thus far managed to overcome.

Among the numbers going against John Lackey -- whom the Rays did rather mistreat last month in Boston -- will be .181 (Dioner Navarro), .186 (Carlos Pena) and .210 (B.J. Upton).

However, the Rays are still among MLB's highest-scoring teams, justifying Joe Maddon's disregard of batting averages.

The renaissance manager called his team's offensive approach "more of the liberal arts form of playing baseball," explaining, "It's just organization of strike zones, swinging at strikes, taking balls, working good at-bats."

Lackey started Boston's only loss in the past eight games (Friday in Philadelphia) and two of the three the Red Sox have lost since May 16.

Red Sox: Cameron back in lineup
Mike Cameron "snuck" back into Boston's lineup, batting ninth and going 0-for-3 in his first game since April 18, shortly before he was disabled with a lower abdominal strain. Cameron was activated after eight rehab games between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket; he hadn't homered in his first 11 games with the Red Sox but hit three out during the rehab stint. ... Kevin Youkilis' next walk will be his 28th of the month, tying Wade Boggs (1988) for the club's second-highest May total since 1952; Carl Yastrzemski walked 30 times in May 1971.

Rays: Home cooking for Garza
For Garza, eight is just enough. He has gone that long in five of his nine starts (and fell one out short in another). Tampa Bay has won all six of the starts Garza has made against Boston in the Trop, and he is 6-2 lifetime against the Red Sox, with a 2.92 ERA in 14 starts.

Worth noting
A truly unique accomplishments was somewhat overlooked when Tim Wakefield earned his first win of the season in Sunday's Interleague game in Philadelphia: He posted a win for the Red Sox for a 16th consecutive season, a relationship claimed by only four other pitchers in AL history, all of a distant era: Walter Johnson, Red Faber, Ted Lyons and Mel Harder. ... The NBA Eastern Conference Finals game between the Celtics and the Magic will nudge Wednesday's Red Sox broadcast down the dial, from WEEI-850 to WRKO-680.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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