ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.(AP) Boston had rare road success in Florida at the perfect time.
pitched six effective innings,
drove in two runs and the
hurt Tampa Bay's playoff hopes with a 6-3 win over the Rays on Thursday night.
took 2 of 3 from the Rays - Boston's first series win at Tropicana Field since Sept. 21-23, 2007 - to extend their AL wild-card
advantage over Tampa Bay to six games. Texas trails Boston by three games.
''This is a tough, tough place,''
said. ''I know we've had a run lately that hasn't been very good, and I think part of that is they're good. For us to win
here, you have to play good games. Now you come down here and you've got to play clean baseball or you lose.''
Buchholz (4-3) allowed three runs and six hits. Bay, with 21 RBIs in his last 22 games, hit a two-run double that put the
ahead 2-0 in the first.
had a run-scoring double for the Rays. The AL All-Star has 27 RBIs against the
this season. Since 1954, the most runs driven in against Boston during one season is 29, by Detroit Hall of Famer
''Obviously you don't want to lose any series, let alone one like this, but truth be told it's one game,'' Longoria said.
''Disappointing, yeah, but we're fortunate enough to be able to play tomorrow and still be in a race for the playoffs. The
focus is come to the ballpark tomorrow and win that day.''
The announced crowd was 20,823, several thousand under the Rays' home average of 23,992 starting the day. The three-games
series drew just 57,663.
Boston took a 4-3 lead in the sixth when
hit a sacrifice fly. A run-scoring single by
and an RBI grounder from
made it 6-3 during the seventh.
Tampa Bay left-hander
(7-7), who had a win and save out of the bullpen when the Rays beat Boston in last year's AL championship series, gave up
four runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.
''I just wasn't very good. Period,'' Price said. ''Didn't have command. Didn't have my stuff. I wasn't out there really mentally.
When you're going out there like that, you're going to lose.''
hit an RBI single and Longoria drove in a run with double to tie it at 2 in the first.
, a member of the 2008 Rays, put Boston up 3-2 on a second-inning solo homer. Tampa Bay pulled even at 3-all on
's RBI double in the fourth.
''The Rays play really well in this building, so to be able to come in here at any point and win a series is very big,'' Baldelli
each worked a scoreless inning before
pitched the ninth for his 34th save.
''I had those guys come in behind me that just slammed the door,'' Buchholz said. ''That's a good feeling.''
Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton left in the fifth with a sprained left ankle. He and left fielder
made contact on the warning track while going after
's fly ball. Crawford caught the ball as Upton went down after taking an awkward step with his left ankle.
X-rays were negative, and Upton might miss just two or three games.
''I just rolled it,'' Upton said. ''When I'm able to play, I'm back out there. We'll see how it goes the next couple day.''
NOTES: Boston CF
stole two bases and leads the majors with 58. ...
(back) threw a 25-pitch bullpen session and might start Saturday's game against the
Chicago White Sox
. ... Francona said the plan is to have INF
(left wrist) stay with Triple-A Pawtucket until the minor league season ends.