With their 9-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Boston Red Sox grabbed the best record in the majors at 11-4, leading the A.L. East by 2.5 games. With the loss, Tampa Bay fell to last place in the division.

The victory gave Curt Schilling his fourth win of the young season, starting 2006 at 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA. Jonathan Papelbon and Mike Timlin both got a rest yesterday. Rudy Seanez, Julian Tavarez, and yes, Keith Foulke finished out the game for Boston, proving the depth of the Red Sox bullpen does extend beyond Timlin and Papelbon.

Most of Boston's runs came in the third inning, when the Red Sox scored seven times, six of them coming off Tampa Bay starter Doug Waechter. Waechter lasted just 2.2 innings in the game, allowing five hits and seven earned runs, increasing his ERA to 7.30.

On the hitting side, first baseman Kevin Youkilis had the most hits and the only home run of the game, a solo shot in the first that gave the Sox an early lead. Youkilis went 3-for-4 in the game, raising his average on the season to .354 on the season. Thus far, several of the new Sox have acquitted themselves well offensively, especially new second baseman Mark Loretta, who won the Patriot's Day game with a walk-off home run.


Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield will be going for his second win and the second series sweep for the Sox this season, broadcast on ESPN2 . . . Outfielder Adam Stern will be sent down to the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox and won't be available for the final game in the Tampa series . . . Mike Timlin made his 900th career appearance Tuesday . . . injured backup outfielder Gabe Kapler is on track for a rehab stint in either AAA Pawtucket or AA Portland next month . . .


Thu 04/20/06, 9:05 am EST



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