Anyone who thinks Adrian Gonzalez' five years in San Diego didn't prepare him for the pressure and intensity of Boston wasn't paying attention.

Three times the Padres took the pennant race to the final day. They made the playoffs in 2006, lost an epic one-game playoff to the Rockies in 2007, and fell to the eventual World Series champion Giants in the 2010 finale.

Gonzalez learned a little something about pennant race pressure in each of those seasons. So when he said the following, before the Red Sox dropped their third straight game against the Rays yesterday, he spoke with the confidence of one who knows the value of experience.

"The guys on that (Tampa Bay) side want to make a big deal of winning those couple of games and making it closer in the wild card," Gonzalez said. "At the end of the day, we're going to win the wild card or the division. It might not be today, because we've still got a lot of games left. But maybe by the time we play them next week."