Friday June 17, 2011 | 05:38 AM

The Boston Red Sox, fresh from an 8-1 road trip, sport a 41-27 record, best in the American League.

Right behind, of course, are the New York Yankees (39-28), 1.5 games back with the second best record. (The only National League team with a better record is Philadelphia at 44-26).

The Red Sox will be glad they have depth after watching shortstop Jed Lowrie (left shoulder) and starter Clay Buchholz (sore back) leave Thursday's game early.

Lowrie looks headed to the disabled list, while Buchholz's back has been a problem before.

But Boston is able to slide former starter Marco Scutaro in at short, and Buchholz can take a break with Andrew Miller expected to join the rotation Monday.

Boston's John Lackey (4-5, 7.41) goes for a third straight win tonight at home against the Brewers and Shaun Marcum (7-2, 2.68). Besides pitching well this year, Marcum had some success at Fenway when he was with the Blue Jays (3-2, 3.52 ERA).

In Pawtucket, Ryan Lavarnway's 10th-inning single scored Lars Anderson for a 6-5 win over Lehigh Valley. Lavarnway was 2-for-4 and is now 5-for-13 (.385) since his promotion.

Felix Doubront (2.53 ERA) started for Pawtucket: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R [2 ER], 2 BB, 6 K ... Yamaico Navarro (.322) came off a long stay on the DL to go 1-for-5 ... former Sea Dogs outfielder Brandon Moss (.267) homered for Lehigh Valley.

Alex Wilson (3.16) started for Portland and was fine through four innings (2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K), but he got tagged for 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks in the fifth ... Alex Hassan (.322) hit his 6th home run.

Junichi Tazawa made another rehab start for Salem: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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