Boston Red Sox defeat Tampa Bay Rays, 8-6

It was uglier than a Muddy River bullfrog, but with the Yankees playing actual baseball again and another Battle of the Bronx beginning tomorrow, the Red Sox didn't care about style points last night.

"A win is a win and we had to fight for this one," manager Terry Francona acknowledged, after his raffish ballclub had survived an unsightly 8-6 wrangle with Tampa Bay before 35,105 at Fenway Park to stay within four games of revived New York.

Boston did it by grinding ...