By Bradley Walker, 1010 Sports

Boston (CBS) David Price was an inning away from a third consecutive complete-game outing for the Tampa Bay pitching staff, but getting the win today and taking the three-game series in Boston was what Joe Maddon and the Rays were more concerned about.

Price matched the starts of James Shields and Jeff Niemann in the previous two games of the series as he rolled today, pitching eight scoreless innings, giving up only three hits.

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The win puts Tampa Bay at 66-56 on the season and eight games behind Boston in the AL Wild Card hunt. The season is heating up as October draws closer, and so have the Rays’ starters. The three best pitchers in the Rays’ rotation got it done against a quality opponent, and if you’re Joe Maddon you can’t be too disappointed with the outcome.

Boston did not even reach 10 hits throughout the three-game series, which gives you an idea of how dominant Tampa Bay’s pitching trio was.

The pitching performance would not be complete without a little help from the Ray’s offense. Johnny Damon reached base on a single off of Boston starter John Lackey in the first, and with some crafty base running was able to get in scoring position to eventually score on a ground out by Ben Zobrist.

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B.J Upton and Evan Longoria joined in on the action with a solo homer each to extend the Rays’ lead to three and give Price some room to work. The last run for Tampa Bay came in the seventh when Zobrist drove in Kelly Shoppach to record his American League best 40th double of the year.

When the Rays are faced with good competition on a big stage like Fenway, it fuels them even more to increase their level of play.

“There’s no question when we play in this venue, or the new Yankee Stadium, it should draw the best out of you, it should,” Maddon said to reporters after the game. “Whatever your best is, it should pull into out of you like a salve or an ointment. And that’s what I think happens to us.”

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