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GAME OF THE DAY

Red Sox power past Rays to close gap

September 16, 2008|From the Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Ortiz, Mike Lowell, Jason Bay, Jason Varitek, Kevin Youkilis and Jacoby Ellsbury each hit a home run and Boston beat Tampa Bay, 13-5, Monday night.

The Red Sox won for the first time in seven games at Tropicana Field this season, climbing to within .002 percentage points of the first-place Rays in the American League East.

The Rays (88-60) were a season-high 5 1/2 games ahead of the Red Sox (89-61) heading into September.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (17-2) became the first Japanese-born pitcher to win 17 games in a season. Hideo Nomo won 16 games for the Dodgers in 1996, 2002 and 2003.

Matsuzaka, who has won six consecutive decisions since losing July 28, gave up only Akinori Iwamura's solo home run and two singles in five innings.

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