Rays KO Sox, Head to Series

By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2008 11:12 PM CDT
Boston's Kevin Youkilis, right, and his Red Sox teammates watch the ninth inning of the Rays' 3-1 victory in Game 7 of the ALCS in St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008.   (AP Photo/Tim Donnelly)
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(Newser) – The worst-to-first Tampa Bay Rays completed a stunning run to their first World Series, holding off the defending champion Boston Red Sox, 3-1, last night behind Matt Garza's masterful pitching in Game 7 of the ALCS. "It's unbelievable," center fielder BJ Upton said. "We battled a lot of adversity this year. We stuck together as a team."

Baseball's doormat since starting play in 1998, the Rays were a 200-1 shot to win the World Series before the season started. They nearly let it slip away when they blew a seven-run lead late in Game 5 and lost meekly Saturday night. Now, they'll host the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 Wednesday night. Garza was named ALCS MVP.