After a rough start to the night, the Sox cruised to a 7-3 victory over the Rays behind big offensive efforts from Will Middlebrooks, Mike Aviles, and Daniel Nava.
The first inning actually started out about as well as the Sox could've hoped, with walks from Daniel Nava and David Ortiz putting two men on for Adrian Gonzalez' RBI single to left. Unfortunately, as Nava was busy scoring, Ortiz ran into an out at third, leaving the Sox with just the one in what could have been a very productive inning.
The bottom of the frame unfortunately proved more problematic, partially due to a bad call from third base umpire Jeff Nelson, who missed a check-swing call to save Ben Zobrist from a strikeout with two men on and nobody out in the first. Zobrist would eventually single off of Beckett's glove, bringing a run in in the process. Back-to-back strikeouts of B.J. Upton and Hideki Matsui would have ended the inning with the right call, but instead Beckett has to face Jeff Keppinger-who he hits-and Desmond Jennings, who brings in two more runs with a line drive single, leaving the game 3-1 after the first.
From there, however, momentum shifted to Boston. Mike Aviles caught a tempting floater over the inside part of the plate in the second, and launched it deep to center field for a two-run shot with Will Middlebrooks on base. With a great throw-and-tag from Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Aviles respectively catching a base stealer in the bottom of the inning and saving Beckett from more damage, the teams headed into the middle innings tied at 3-3.
The Sox would eventually be the ones to break the knot in the fifth. Daniel Nava got the job done in a hurry by taking a slightly hanging changeup over the middle and blasting it into the right field stands for a no-doubter solo shot, but the Sox weren't done there. Two singles and a walk would load the bases with one out for Will Middlebrooks, who lined a two-run single past a diving Elliot Johnson and into left to make it a 6-3 game. They would add a seventh in the top of the sixth when Jacoby Ellsbury (who had three hits on the night) scored on a sacrifice fly.
Josh Beckett, meanwhile, had settled down, and managed to pitch through the end of the sixth without allowing anymore damage, racking up seven strikeouts in the process. Junichi Tazawa would make things a bit scary by giving up two hits to start the seventh, but Mike Aviles caught the second runner, Ben Zobrist, turning wide at first, and Mark Melancon did an excellent job of cleaning up the seventh and adding on a scoreless eighth to send the game to the ninth, where Alfredo Aceves wrapped things up (if in tense fashion, loading the bases and giving up a loud fly ball out to Hideki Matsui) and sent the Sox back home with a series win.