Advancing to the ALCS for the first time since 2008, the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Tuesday night in Game 4 of the ALDS at Tropicana Field. It's their 10th ALCS appearance. The Rays, who were trying force a fifth game at Boston, lost a 1-0 lead in the seventh.
Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury combined to go 15 for 32 with five stolen bases and nine runs scored in the series. Victorino beat out an infield single with two outs in the seventh to push Ellsbury across home plate for Boston's lead run.
Jake Peavy pitched longer than anyone else in this game, certainly, and did a good job, allowing a run and five hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Red Sox left-hander Craig Breslow struck out the first four batters he faced, including Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist.
James Loney and Yunel Escobar teamed up to turn a tremendous inning-ending double play in the second after Boston had loaded the bases with no outs.
After being locked out of the playoffs for his entire career with the Royals, Cubs and Nationals (sort of), David DeJesus got the Rays on the board with an RBI single in the sixth.
In a pinch after Jeremy Hellickson's aborted start, Jamey Wright, Matt Moore and Alex Torres combined for five shutout innings.
Hellickson had a 1-2-3 first inning but walked the first two batters in the second and allowed a single to load the bases. That was it, as manager Joe Maddon used a quick hook to begin a caravan of relief pitchers.
"It became a little extemporaneous, there," Maddon said.
Maddon pushed the right buttons after the game began, but the decision to start Hellickson obviously did not work out.
Wil Myers, Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist combined to go 1 for 11 in Game 4, performances that reflect the results of the entire series.
After getting behind in the count 0-2 with one out in the seventh, rookie Xander Bogaerts drew a walk against Jake McGee that got Boston's offense moving. He also walked later in the game and scored an insurance run.
The Rays used four pitchers to get the first 11 outs of the game. Overall, they used nine pitchers, including both Wrights (Jamey and Wesley). The only Rays pitchers not to see action were Alex Cobb and David Price — and Price was limbering up in the pen during the ninth inning, just in case.
The path Maddon wore out in the artificial turf between the dugout and the mound.
Why didn't John Farrell use Xander Bogaerts sooner in the series?
Can Shane Victorino keep getting hit by pitches without turning into a human bruise?
Should Craig Breslow be earning non-LOOGY money?
The Red Sox host Games 1 and 2 of the ALCS starting Saturday at Fenway Park.