Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Rookie Ryan Kalish belted his second grand slam and David Ortiz also went deep, as the Red Sox blasted Tampa Bay, 12-5, in the opener of a big three-game set at Fenway Park.
With this being the final series for Boston against the Rays, it's imperative that the Red Sox sweep to continue hopes for a postseason spot. Monday's win moved Boston within 6 1/2 games of the Rays for the wild card lead. Chicago is six back.
Jon Lester (16-8) struck out exactly 10 batters for a third straight game, all victories. The lefty limited the Rays to four hits and two runs over six innings.
Ortiz and Adrian Beltre hit back-to-back homers in the first inning for Boston, which was swept at home by the White Sox in a three-game series over the weekend. Victor Martinez added a two-run single in the second.
The Rays lost their third in a row and remained 2 1/2 games behind the first- place New York Yankees in the AL East.
Jeff Niemann (10-6) was pounded for a third straight start. This time the right-hander surrendered four hits and six runs over 1 2/3 frames. He's given up 19 hits and 23 runs over his last three outings for an ERA of 20.70 in that span.