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“It’s experience and growing up,” he added. “We’re basically a young team. But it’s a bunch of guys that want it real bad and have got a lot of ability and they expect to win. … Up and down the lineup now they can feed off each other. That’s when you become a really good ballclub and that’s where we’re getting.”

Even when things got close, when the game was only separated by a run or two and relievers flirted with danger by putting runners on base, there was never a sense that the outcome would be any different.

“I really feel like, this bullpen, just don’t mess with it,” said left-hander Michael Gonzalez, who walked two in a scoreless eighth to provide one of the few late moments of anxiousness.

“It’s a calm confidence,” said closer Tyler Clippard, who picked up his 24th save with a perfect ninth. “Nobody gets too high or too low. Nothing changes. We’re not walking around like, ‘Oh, we’re the best.’ We’re just keeping our heads down and going about our business, playing each game like it’s a must-win game. It’s a lot of fun, man.”