posted 8 years ago
For four months, the Red Sox and Rays battled in a close race in the American League East by defending their home turf. The Rays won out down the stretch with a pair of key victories at Fenway Park and an almost perfect record at Tropicana Field.
Not only did those victories earn Tampa Bay the victory in the season series, it served as the two-game difference in the division that ended up earning the Rays home-field advantage for this AL Championship Series. It also served as credibility on a national stage for the Rays as an upstart World Series contender.
A few weeks and a Division Series victory later, the Rays are four wins away from the Fall Classic. To get there, though, they'll have to get past the defending world-champion Red Sox once again.
Eight of the 18 regular-season games in this division clash were decided by two runs or fewer. The Rays won all eight of them, including a three-game sweep at Tropicana Field at the end of June comprised of a pair of one-run games and a 3-1 pitching duel. When the Red Sox won, on the other hand, they usually won comfortably, including series sweeps at Fenway in early May and June.