Red Sox, Rays set to meet for third time in postseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
With the New York Yankees in the rearview mirror, the Boston Red Sox can turn their attention to a different divisional foe.
Following Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Yankees at Fenway Park, the Red Sox will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series.
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It will be the third meeting in the postseason between Boston and Tampa Bay, which began play as an expansion team as the Devil Rays in 1998 but didn't make the playoffs until dropping the 'Devil' from its moniker in 2008 — the first time it faced the Red Sox in October.
The Rays finished a franchise-best 100-62 this season, the best record in the American League. Tampa Bay won the season series over Boston in 2021, 11-8, but were outscored by the Red Sox over the 19 games, 106-104.
Here's a quick look back at the previous two meetings between the division rivals in the postseason:
2008 American League Championship Series
Rays won series, 4-3
After taking Game 1 behind seven shutout innings from Daisuke Matsuzaka, the Red Sox dropped three straight to the Rays, apparently out of gas in defense of their 2007 World Series title. But Boston stormed back to tie the series at 3-3, including a comeback from seven runs down in Game 5 to stun Tampa, 8-7, at Fenway Park on a J.D. Drew walk-off single.
The Red Sox faltered in Game 7 on the road, however, as series MVP Matt Garza outdueled Jon Lester before turning things over to the bullpen, including then-rookie David Price earning a four-out save to end Boston's season.
Future Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford hit .345 (10 for 29) with three steals for the Rays in the series; Jacoby Ellsbury went hitless in 14 at-bats for Boston, but regular season MVP Dustin Pedroia was locked in at .346 (9 for 26) with three homers and two steals.
2013 American League Division Series
Red Sox won series, 3-1
En route to the club's third World Series title of the century, the Red Sox had little trouble with the Rays, dropping only the third game of the series, 5-4, on a rare poor outing from Koji Uehara that postseason.
Ellsbury more than made up for his failures in 2008, hitting a cool .500 (9 for 18) with four stolen bases in his final season with the Red Sox. David Ortiz, who would later win World Series MVP against the St. Louis Cardinals, started his postseason off by hitting .385 (5 for 13) with two home runs — the only two round-trippers for Boston in the whole series.
Then-rookie Xander Bogaerts, the only remaining member of the Red Sox from the 2013 series, drew two walks and scored three runs over two appearances.