Boston Massacre: Tampa Bay Rays Sweep the Boston Red Sox

JC De La TorreAnalyst IIIApril 19, 2010

BOSTON - APRIL 17:  Pat Burrell #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays knocks in three runs in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox throws against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on April 17, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Like a Nor'easter, they blew in wrecking everything in sight and leaving nothing but rubble in their wake.

Their bats thundered, while their pitchers blew the rawhide by their Boston adversaries as if they were tornadoes twisting the night away.

It was just four games in April, games that perhaps at the end of a 162 game season may not mean a whole lot.

Still, that whooshing sound you heard from Fenway Park was Red Sox Nation's collective gasp, "Ruh-roh."

The Tampa Bay Rays put together their best four game stretch in Boston in franchise history and stretched their team record tying win streak to seven games.

They took over first place over the idle New York Yankees by a half game and perhaps most importantly, kept the Red Sox reeling at 4-9, Boston's worst start since they began 2-11 in 1996.

Truth be told, all the Rays needed to do is play fundamental baseball and they were going to win this series. Boston was dreadful, committing five errors during the series and allowing numerous unearned runs. Boston made up for that by going 0-for-30 with men in scoring position (or not).

Add to that two of Boston's top hurlers, Jon Lester and John Lackey were shelled, it wasn't a banner weekend at the Fens.

"We caught the Red Sox at a right time for us," Rays manager Joe Maddon told the Associated Press . "They're going to be fine. They're going to get hot. They're going to do all those things. We were playing well right now."

The most important thing for his club is Tampa Bay is getting the starting pitching from Sheilds, Garza, Price, and Neimann, allowing Tampa Bay to avoid having to delve into their suspect middle relief.

Add to that the resurgence of BJ Upton (4 HRs, 11 RBI) and Pat Burrell (GW homer in game one of the series, three RBI in game two, 3-for-4 today), the Rays suddenly have one of the more potent lineups in the majors.

The Rays' 10-3 start is the best in franchise history and is the top record in the Majors.

"We've got 5½ more months of baseball to play, so a lot can happen in between that time. We just got to keep doing the things we're doing, keep our head straight, do a lot of little things right and I think the rest will take care of itself," Upton said.

Putting the Red Sox down six games early in the season certainly helps.