Mutai, Kilel of Kenya win 2011 Boston Marathon

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Mutai, Kilel of Kenya win 2011 Boston Marathon

BOSTON (AP) -- Kenya's Geoffrey Mutai won the Boston Marathon in 2 hours, 3 minutes, 2 seconds -- the fastest anyone has ever run the 26.2-mile distance.

The previous best of 2:03:59 was by Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin 2008. Because Monday's race had a strong tailwind on a downhill course, Mutai's run is not recognized by track's international governing body as a record.

But Mutai was almost three minutes better than the course record set just last year by Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot.

Caroline Kilel won the women's race to complete the Kenyan sweep, outsprinting Desiree Davila of the United States to win by two seconds, in 2:22:36. Davila led as late as the final stretch on Boylston Street and ran the fastest Boston time ever for an American woman, five seconds faster than Joan Benoit finished to win in 1983.

No American -- man or woman -- has won Boston since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach in 1985. Ryan Hall ran the fastest marathon ever for an American, finishing fourth in 2:04:58, and Kara Goucher ran a personal best 2:24:52 to add a fifth-place finish to her third in 2009.

Kilel and Mutai each earn 150,000 for the win, and Mutai gets 50,000 for the world best and another 25,000 for the course record.

A year after Cheruiyot lowered the course record by more than a minute, the runners lined up in Hopkinton with temperatures in the high 40s and a wind at their backs -- perfect marathoning weather.

Kim Smith, a New Zealander who lives in Providence, took off at a record pace and led the women's race for more than 20 miles. The men were more steady, and they were the ones to take down the old mark.

Four men, including Hall and third-place finisher Gebregziabher Gebremariam of Ethiopia, broke the 2:05 milestone that just 12 months ago had seemed insurmountable on the hilly Boston course.

Mutai and Moses Mosop ran side-by-side for the final miles before Mutai pulled ahead for good on Boylston Street and won by four seconds. The 19th Kenyan winner in the past 21 years, Mutai raised his arms in the air and grinned; Cheruiyot, who injured his side in a car accident in Kenya, dropped out in the first half of the race.

Smith took off at the start, and the pack let her go, falling almost a minute behind. But 20 miles in, as she ran down Commonwealth Avenue in Newton toward Heartbreak Hill, she began to stutter-step.

Soon, she had stopped completely to rub her right calf. It was only for a few seconds, but when she resumed she had clearly slowed and the pack was upon her less than a mile later. Among them was Davila.

The American ran with Kenyans Kilel and Sharon Cherop through Chestnut Hill and briefly broke out of her rhythm to wave as the crowd began chanting, "U-S-A!" The three swapped leads down Beacon Street in Brookline, and Davila led even on the final stretch before Kilel outkicked her.

Masazumi Soejima and Wakako Tsuchida gave Japan a sweep of the men's and women's wheelchair divisions. It was the fifth straight win for Tsuchida and the second overall for Soejima.

-- The Associated Press

Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

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Talking points: Patrice Bergeron is best player on ice in Bruins' win

Here are the talking points from the Boston Bruins' 6-3 win over the Dallas Stars where Patrice Bergeron scored two goals.

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

Red Sox can't rally against Rays after Chris Archer's start

The appearance of Tampa Bay Rays lefty Ryan Yarbrough almost got the Boston Red Sox back in their spring training exhibition game. The Sox managed to score all three of their runs against the 25-year-old in their 7-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Florida on Sunday.

But the Rays, who scored runs in five different innings, managed to widen their lead in the eighth inning by beating up on Sox lefty Luis Isla, a 24-year-old who spent last season with Portland and Pawtucket. In the eighth, Rays' Joe McCarthy homered and Luke Maile managed an RBI single, which cappped off the scoring in the contest. Sox starter Hector Velazquez allowed three hits and an earned run in his two innnings. The 28-year-old, who spent 2016 in the Mexican League, still managed to amass four strikeouts.

"I was a little nervous at the start, being in the United States for the first time and playing for a big league club for the first time," Velazquez told RedSox.com through an interpreter. "But once I got the first out, all the nerves went away, and I was able to bear down."

Despite allowing two homers, Boston pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.

With the exception of the Sox' inning against Yarbrough, Boston's veterans and prospects struggled mighltily against the Rays pitching staff. Chris Archer started for Tampa, and set the tone in the first two innings, where he threw two strikeouts, one walk and allowed one hit and no runs. Andrew Benintendi (0-for-3), Sam Travis (0-for-2) and Bryce Brentz (0-for-3) went hitless on the day. Travis, however, reached base on balls.

"I felt good. I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish," Archer said, via the Red Sox' team website. "Just out there having fun, it was really fun to be out there in the spectrum with the umpire, the fans, the batter. It was fun."

Marco Hernandez's triple got the Sox' eighth-inning off to a strong start, and singles from Matt Dominguez, Deven Marrero, Rusney Castillo and Cole Sturgeon followed. The Sox' eighth inning scoring ended after Castillo got thrown out by left fielder McCarthy at third. Six Red Sox finished with one-hit outings, including Brock Holt and Blake Swihart.

The Sox will next host the St. Louis Cardinals in Fort Myers on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET.