Philadelphia Phillies defeat Boston Red Sox, 9-2

Even from a distance, Terry Francona has marveled at the mystery of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, a $30 million bargain-basement team reaping a big-budget bonanza.

While Francona's Red Sox barely have broken even (17-16) since they lost May 20 at Tampa Bay, after last night's win the Rays are on a 26-7 run and have won 15 of their last 16 games.

"It's amazing how this game works," Francona said. "I never have been able to understand that."

While the Rays have won big ...

For weeks Red Sox fans heard, "Wait until Nomar and Trot get back." OK, they're back. Bill Mueller and Ellis Burks are pretty close, and when they return, well, who knows how explosive this team might be? That one has been heard often, too.

Right now there's only one man who can explain the team's hitting struggles. It's time to call on senior baseball operations adviser Bill James. After all, this lineup is, in part, a result of his beliefs and recommendations. Buy him...