BOSTON -- It wasn't that long ago that the Tampa Bay Rays couldn't win in Boston. Now, they're the team that looks most comfortable during the past few rainy games.
Edes: Slow Start
Add Jon Lester to the list of Boston Red Sox who are struggling out of the gate, writes Gordon Edes. Story
Matt Garza pitched shutout ball for eight innings, Carlos Pena and B.J. Upton each hit two-run homers and the Rays continued their hot road start with a 7-1 win over the Red Sox on Sunday. The Rays have won three of the last five series in Fenway Park after losing 25 straight.Tampa Bay remained unbeaten away from Tropicana Field, winning its sixth straight on the road during this current 10-game trip. The club record for consecutive road victories in a season is seven, done in June 2004."We're not a cold-weather team and to come in here with the weather the way it's been, it says a lot," Upton said.The team that plays in a dome has been better defensively the past three days.
• Matt Garza improved to 6-2 vs. the Red Sox and is 3-0 on the season with a 0.75 ERA.
• Carlos Pena homered for the third time in five games.
• Jon Lester dropped to 2-5 with a 5.29 ERA in his career in April. He's the first Red Sox starter in 60 years to allow at least four ER and three BB in his first three starts of a season.
• The Red Sox are four games below .500 for the second time since the 1998 season began.
-- ESPN Stats & Information
In the series opener, the Red Sox made a pair of miscues, leading to a run. They made two more errors that led to five unearned runs in Saturday night's scheduled game, after the suspended one was completed. Then on Sunday, the Rays turned three double plays, keeping Garza to the minimum number of batters through seven innings."We've played in a lot of inclement weather over the last couple of years. It just seems like it follows us, once we get outside," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We have not been good. That's why this is even better, because we're playing on the road, here, playing well and the weather's been horrid, and that's all good stuff. It just speaks to focus and intensity."Dustin Pedroia had a sacrifice fly for Boston, which has lost four in a row. Tampa Bay can close out the four-game sweep in the traditional Patriots Day game, beginning 11 a.m. Monday."We'll be ready. It doesn't matter what time the game is, whether it's midnight or 11 o'clock in the morning, we'll be ready to play," Upton said.Garza (3-0) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked two before Mike Ekstrom worked the ninth. Garza has allowed just three runs in 24 innings this season.Garza held the Red Sox hitless for 4 2/3 innings until Adrian Beltre lined a shot off the left-field wall. He was throw out by Carl Crawford trying to stretch it into a double."We're not doing a lot of things well right now," Boston manager Terry Francona said.The Rays scored two runs in the second and third innings before breaking it open with three in the sixth against Jon Lester (0-2), who gave up seven runs, seven hits, three walks and fanned five in six innings. He is 2-6 with a 5.46 ERA in 15 career starts in March and April."I just have to be better," Lester said. "It's unacceptable. I'm letting my rotation down. I'm letting our bullpen down and I'm letting the team down."Evan Longoria doubled leading off the second and Pena followed with his fourth homer, a drive off the back wall near the first section of seats in the center-field bleachers.Lester walked Gabe Kapler and Jason Bartlett to start the third. Crawford sacrificed before Ben Zobrist singled into right-center, making it 4-0.Upton hit his homer near the same spot as Pena's to make it 6-0. Willy Aybar doubled and later scored on Kapler's fielder's choice grounder.Crawford took third on the front end of a double steal in the fifth, his 30th straight successful attempt against the Red Sox.
Red Sox DH David Ortiz, hitting just .171 with no homers and 2 RBIs, was out of the lineup. Jason Varitek started behind the plate after regular catcher Victor Martinez, who took Ortiz's DH spot in the lineup, caught last night's late game. ... Lester collected his 500th strikeout when he got Aybar looking in the fourth. ... The start was delayed 31 minutes by rain, and showers fell a few times during the game.