Series: Game 1 of 3

Boston leads 1-0 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Friday, September 27
Tampa Bay 1Final
Boston 6
Game 2: Saturday, September 28
Tampa Bay 9Final
Boston 6
Game 3: Sunday, September 29
Tampa Bay 8Final
Boston 11

Devil Rays 1

(54-105, 24-54 away)

Red Sox 6

(92-68, 41-38 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 27, 2002

    Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

    123456789 R H E
    TB 000100000 1 - -
    BOS 05100000 - 6 - -

    W: J. Burkett (13-8)

    L: P. Wilson (6-12)

    Burkett tosses eight shutout innings against Rays

    BOSTON (AP) -- John Burkett finished the season the way he started it.

    John Burkett

    Burkett pitched eight strong innings Friday striking out six while allowing five hits and one run as the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-1.

    It was his third win in his last four outings. He started 7-0 in his first nine starts.

    "I feel like I'd like to continue the season right now I feel as good as I have all season long,'' Burkett said.

    Burkett (13-8) allowed only a solo homer to Ben Grieve, his 19th in the fourth.

    "I wouldn't call the season a total disappointment ... 92 93 94 wins usually gets you in but some teams have exceptional seasons,'' Burkett said.

    He has 13 wins in a season for the first time since going 14-5 with the Florida Marlins in 1995.

    The Red Sox chased Tampa Bay starter Paul Wilson (6-12) when they scored five runs in the second inning. Garciaparra's two-run single with the bases loaded was the big blow in the inning. Trot Nixon, Daubach and Johnny Damon all had RBI singles.

    Wilson gave up five runs and seven hits with a walk in 1 1/3 innings. He is 0-4 in his last six starts and got past the fifth inning only twice.

    "They didn't sting the ball, but they were hits nevertheless. ... When every base hit produces a run, you get the big inning,'' Tampa manager Hal McRae said.

    Manny Ramirez led off the second inning with a double, Shea Hillenbrand walked and Nixon singled to right, scoring Ramirez. Jason Varitek hit into a fielder's choice, Daubach followed with a single to center that scored Hillenbrand.

    Lou Merloni singled to right before Damon hit an RBI single. Garciaparra followed with his two hits.

    Daubach's solo home run in the third inning, his 20th, off Travis Phelps gave the Red Sox a 6-0 lead.

    "I think it's important for every player out there to go into the offseason as positively as they can,'' Red Sox manager Grady Little said.

    Ramirez, the AL batting leader, went 1-for-2 to keep his average at .347. He was thrown out of the game by home plate umpire Rick Reed after taking a called third strike in the second. He was ejected after taking a few steps toward the dugout then flipping his bat and helmet behind him in Reed's direction.

    Little said that Ramirez will play in the Red Sox remaining two games, but cautioned "I don't know if he'll stay in there for the entire game.''

    Kansas City's Mike Sweeney started the day in second place in the AL batting race with a .343 average.

    Game notes

    Daubach became the fifth Red Sox player to hit 20 or more home runs in his first four seasons. Garciaparra accomplished the feat from 1997-2000. Tony Conigliaro, Jim Rice and Ted Williams have also hit 20 or more home runs in their first four seasons. ... Cliff Floyd left the game in the second inning with a bruised left ankle. He was hit by a pitch from Phelps. ... Jared Sandberg's strikeout in the fourth inning was his team leading 136th for the Devil Rays. He has struck out in 80 of his 97 starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press