As the Tampa Bay Rays march into Fenway Park for their American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox on Friday, no team is more battle tested on the road than Joe Maddon's troops.
Alex Cobb, who just three-and-a-half months ago was carted off the field after taking a line drive to his right ear, gave his team 6.2 innings of shutout baseball Thursday, escaping multiple jams to forge a 4-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians in the AL Wild Card Play-In Game.
Three consecutive road elimination games were no trouble for the Rays. They defeated the Toronto Blue Jays to close out the regular season, neatly handled the Texas Rangers to claim the final wild-card spot and disposed of the Indians last night.
Now, a five-game set against their AL East rival, the Red Sox, that will begin at Fenway is the latest obstacle to overcome. Boston got the better of Tampa Bay during the regular season, winning 12 of 19 matchups, but as we all know, the playoffs is a new opportunity, a clean slate and a separate season.
There are certain steps the Rays must take to knock off the team with the best record in baseball. Let's take a look.