Boston Red Sox defeat Tampa Bay Rays, 3-0

BOSTON—Jon Lester pitched into the eighth inning, Jason Bay homered in a three-run first and the surging Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Monday night to move within a half-game of the struggling AL East leaders.

Playing before their 456th straight regular-season sellout crowd, a new major league record, the Red Sox closed within a half-game of the division lead for the first time since July 23.

Boston improved to 6-1 in its last seven games while Tampa ...

His face, underneath its cool exterior, broke enough for a muted celebration. Standing by the dugout railing, watching the other Jon finish up what he had started, Jon Lester accepted momentary congratulations, then closed again.

Lester, of course, is not one for much outward emotion. Not one for self-promotion or major expressions of excitement or joy. Unlike, say, Jonathan Papelbon, who had just closed out another stellar performance from his starter.

But, no matte...