Sense of urgency fuels Sox victory

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Sense of urgency fuels Sox victory

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Perhaps it was the frustration of losing a one-run game the previous night, highlighted by some issues with the umpiring.
Perhaps it was the knowledge that another loss would cause them to lose additional ground in the division, wiping out any progress made by a five-game winning streak at home.
Whatever it was, manager Bobby Valentine sensed that Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays had extra signficiance. So Valentine managed like it was a must-win game, even if was only mid-May.
"I was just going after this game tonight," said Valentine after a 5-3 victory. "I felt the guys really wanted this game and I was going to do everything I can to win it, not that I don't manage that way every day. But sometimes I'll take some future considerations (into account).
"There weren't any future considerations tonight."
Indeed, Valentine managed the game like it was the seventh game of a playoff series, using five relievers, including three different relievers for three hitters in the seventh inning.
"I think every game's important," said Mike Aviles, who got ejected for the first time in his major league career for arguing a called third strike in the top of the seventh. "But the fact that they won Wednesday in a close game and we had another close game tonight, it's good to always get that second win, get on the road and continue (the success).
"It's definitely good to get the win and go about it any way possible and I think Bobby did the right thing, mixing and matching later in the game."
Asked if a sense of urgency existed for the game, Cody Ross, who drove in four of the team's five runs, said: "Definitely. It wouldn't be good dropping the first two on a tough road trip, then going into Philly and Baltimore, a team in first place.
"We know how good the Rays are. We have to play them every single pitch like it's the last. Tonight is a perfect example of a team win and good for morale."

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