Tampa Bay Rays defeat Boston Red Sox, 8-7

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Too close for comfort?

David Ortiz, whose ninth-inning home run (No. 44 this season) and four RBIs were still not enough to keep the Red Sox from falling a run short of beating the Tampa Bay Devil Rays last night, considered the question. The Sox have been in first place in the American League East for 62 straight days and 86 out of the last 87, every day but one since June 24.

Now, after their 8-7 loss to the Devil Rays here and the Yankees' ...

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Wells, with 42 seasoned years of living under his sizable belt, sat in a clubhouse recliner yesterday afternoon, tenure evidently granting him the right to look at the 21-year-old kid, thin and quiet, and yap: ''Welcome to port. Scared? Nervous?"

But by night's end, Craig Hansen was the best thing the Red Sox had going for them, the 97-mile-per-hour fastball he displayed in a scoreless fifth inning a testament to youth and energy, two chara...