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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2008 was a great year for some

The Tampa Bay Rays completed their first four-game sweep in team history at Fenway Park yesterday afternoon on Patriots Day.

The 8-2 shellacking sent Tampa Bay (10-3) to their seventh straight win while Boston (4-9) has lost five in a row in this very ugly start to the 2010 season.

After making the World Series in 2008 out of nowhere, the Rays came back down to earth last season and didn't make the playoffs as they failed to live up to expectations. The team is still young and supremely talented and there's no reason they can't go deep into the playoffs this fall barring any huge injuries or major slumps.

Jeff Niemann (1-0) got his first win of the season, going seven innings and allowing two earned runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

In his third start for the Red Sox, John Lackey (1-1) got completely shelled and looked like the loser that routinely choked at Fenway when he was with the Angels. He only last 3.1 innings, getting touched for eight earned runs on nine hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

Tampa Bay went up 1-0 in the first on Ben Zobrist's groundout which scored Jason Bartlett (3 hits, 3 runs) who had doubled.

The Rays added five in the third on Evan Longoria's two-run double and B.J. Upton's three-run homer into the Boston bullpen.

After Bartlett's RBI triple in the fourth and Carl Crawford's sacrifce fly, Lackey's early day was already done.

Jeremy Hermida helped Boston avoid the shutout with a two-run homer to right in the seventh.

The Sox look to get something positive going tonight as they play a team more at their level right now-the Texas Rangers-who come to Fenway for three games.

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