Rays-Red Sox: Preview of postseason baseball?

July 25, 2013 - 5:11 am

It's nights like Wednesday night that make winning the American League East that much more important. Rays lefty David Price provided a dominating start, hurling a complete game, allowing just one run over five hits. as Tampa Bay posted a 5-1 victory over the Red Sox. With Major League Baseball's current postseason alignment, the one-game series between the two wild card teams can be a dangerous and heartbreaking end to a season if a club ends up facing a performance such as Price's. The Red Sox came into the four-game set against Tampa Bay 1½ games ahead, and after three games their lead is down to a half-game. However, Red Sox players aren't overly concerned with the streaking Rays. "I wouldn't say they're threatening. They are a good team. Anybody who is a half-game out is a threat," outfielder Shane Victorino said after Wednesday night's loss. "We've got to keep plugging and not worry about tonight. Price pitched a good game. Have to go out there tomorrow and tie the series. ... Bottom line is we're still in first place." Since July 29, the Rays are 19-3. And with a rotation that features the likes of Price and Matt Moore, combined with a efficient offense headed by Evan Longoria and Wil Myers, the Rays are a scary team. However, the Red Sox remain confident despite dropping two of the first three games of the series. "I don't think there is a significance if we don't win [Thursday] on the destiny of the year. No, we've still got a long season to go," Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia commented. "We can get hot, and we've been playing good baseball." It is only July, and there is a lot of baseball to be played. However, one can't help but feel that a Rays-Red Sox matchup looms down the road. But for now, Red Sox players are just focused on Thursday. "I don't want to use the word concern. Because I'm never concerned," Victorino said with a grin. They came in 1½ behind and they can go out 1½ behind."