Carlos Pena and Ben Francisco hit back-to-back, tape-measure homers in the fifth inning on Wednesday night to lead the Tampa Bay Rays to their seventh consecutive victory, 4-2 over the Boston Red Sox.
The Rays remained 3 1-2 games behind Baltimore for second place in the AL East. Tampa Bay began the day three games behind Oakland for the second wild-card spot.
It was the final home game of the season for the Red Sox, and perhaps the last at Fenway Park for Boston manager Bobby Valentine. Hired to inspire a fractious clubhouse after the team went 7-20 last September under Terry Francona, Valentine instead presided over what could be the worst Red Sox team since 1965.
''When you don't accomplish what you set out to do, you don't feel like you've done a good job. Simple,'' Valentine said before the game. ''When I come back next year, I'll think I'm prepared to handle it. Hopefully, we'll have better results.''