The Sox swept their second straight series, won their eighth straight game and extended their lead in the division to one and a half games by beating Tampa on Wednesday, and they did it despite many forces working against them.
Some backstory, first.
On Tuesday night A.J. Pierzynski went spikes high sliding into second base and spiked Ben Zobrist in the right shin. I commented on Twitter Tuesday night that A.J. was going to get hit because of that at some point.
He was drilled in the third inning on Wednesday. On a pitch thrown high and at his head, no less. I have no problem with retaliation, but throwing it high? That calls for retaliation of its own.
The good news was that after the Rays put A.J. on base he came around to score, meaning Tampa gave us a free run. The Sox won by a single run, by the way.
Anyway, in the fourth inning, Jose Quintana retaliated by throwing behind Ben Zobrist. A pitch that was behind him and low. Quintana was then immediately ejected by home plate umpire Mark Wegner.
There were no warnings, no anything. Quintana was just gone.
The good news is that we got a good Hawk rant out of it.
It also led to Robin Ventura's first ejection as a manager.
Anyway, though the Rays made this game closer, the Sox were able to hold on. Even if they were only 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
They didn't really deserve to win this game, and yet they did. Which is what teams do when they're playing well. They steal one from time to time.
The good news is stolen wins count just as much as any other.
The bad news is Alejandro De Aza had to leave the game early after taking a pick-off throw off his right knee. Hopefully the off day on Thursday will be enough for De Aza to recover and be back in the lineup on Friday. Losing him for any amount of time would hurt.