A Tale of Two Teams: It's not an accident the Rays are 6-2 against the Red Sox and, dating back to last season, 13-3 over the last 16. Those aren't fluky results or the result of a small sample size. The Rays are better, deeper, more athletic and superior in virtually every way. While the Red Sox out a succession of rookies and journeyman to the mound, the Rays counter with hard-throwing pitchers who successfully repeat their deliveries, attack hitters and stick a game plan. "Their pitching is outstanding,'' said Ron Roenicke. "Their starters are good, their relievers are good. And that puts you in an elite class and that's why they are where they are.'' The Tampa lineup may not have the big names that the Red Sox boast and may not be able to match the Sox when it comes to power, but the Rays battle every at-bat and have a roster full of versatile players who can play multiple positions. "They don't give up any at-bats,'' Roenicke. "They get on base, they steal, they're very heads up on the bases. So they do a lot of things that allow them to win games.''
Hall Over His Head: When we last saw MattHall on Sunday, he was walking the ballpark against Toronto, issuing four passes and allowing six runs over 1.2 innings. He was optioned back to the alternate training site the next day, but with a rash of injuries to the pitching staff in recent days, was recalled. When starter AndrewTriggs complained of a pinched nerve in his neck after the first inning, Roenicke thought it was a good spot for Hall to face an all lefty-lineup. Wrong.