The Tampa Bay Rays Are Your 2008 American League Champs

They didn't make it easy, but they did it. After letting a seven-run lead slip away late in Game 5, and losing at home in Game 6, the Rays beat Boston's best pitcher to advance to the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The star of the game was Matt Garza, who allowed just two hits and one run over seven innings. Garza walked three and struck out nine, giving up only a Dustin Pedroia solo homer in the first. That performance, combined with his Game 3 win, was enough to win him the MVP.

After the Rays went ahead on a Rocco Baldelli single in the fifth, and added an insurance run when Willy Aybar homered in the seventh, the Red Sox had a chance in the eighth. But with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth, Joe Maddon brought in 23-year-old lefty David Price. The 2007 No. 1 pick out of Vanderbilt, who didn't make his first major league appearance until September 14, struck out J.D. Drew, and then retired the side in the ninth.

Game 1 of the World Series will be Wednesday night, with Scott Kazmir being the likely starter for the Rays. The Phillies have already announced that Cole Hamels will be on the mound in the first game.

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