BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Red Sox let out a couple of weeks’ worth of frustration on Wednesday night, pounding out 20 runs against the first-place Rays. After blowing the series opener on Tuesday, and blowing a big lead on Sunday in Toronto, and losing 10 of their last 12 games to fall well out of first place, a night like Wednesday was a long time coming.

Short of Phillips Valdez surrendering seven runs in the top of the ninth inning of the blowout win, it was a perfect night for the home team.

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“Definitely a night that a lot of us were looking forward to. The offense exploding, pitchers threw a good game,” Xander Bogaerts said after his 2-for-3, two-walk, four-RBI night. “You know how we’ve been grinding so far offensively these last couple of games — last couple of weeks. But I think these last few games we’ve been kind of turning it. A lot of the guys who were kind of not playing as well are starting to get their groove back and get their swing back.”

The win was much-needed, but obviously doesn’t shift things too dramatically in the division. For that, the Red Sox will need to win the series on Thursday, win the weekend series against the last-place Orioles, and then beat the Yankees a couple of times next week to potentially reclaim the top spot in the AL East.

On that front, an excited Bogaerts can’t wait to welcome Chris Sale and Kyle Schwarber into the everyday mix.

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“Help is on its way,” Bogaerts said. “I mean, you obviously have some other guys also that have been on the DL that have been playing good for us this year. Knowing that they’re coming back soon, it’s fun. I mean, there’s a lot of people who [would want] to trade for Chris Sale at the deadline — without giving up any prospects. It’s gonna be fun when he gets on the mound — I know for him personally, all that he’s been through, it must have been really tough and something that you don’t want any of your teammates to go through.”

Bogaerts added: “But he’s a warrior, man. He’s been here the last couple of years, and he’s obviously one of the warriors on this team. Whenever he goes out there, he gives it all that he has. And pretty much all the time, it’s nasty.”

Sale will make his long-awaited return Saturday against the Orioles. Schwarber’s Red Sox debut remains a bit more unknown, but Bogaerts is looking forward to seeing that bat in the lineup.

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“Obviously we saw how Schwarber was right before he got hurt, just launching balls all over the place. I mean, we don’t want to see all those home runs, but we wouldn’t mind if we see them. Because we don’t want to put that amount of pressure on him,” Bogaerts said. “But I mean, it would be nice, especially with that Green Monster, for him. He can just play pepper if he wants. So it’s definitely two guys that we’re excited to see and give this ball club an even better boost.”

CBSBoston.com Staff