Monday July 11, 2011 | 06:30 AM

After their terrible start, the Boston Red Sox enter the All-Star break in first place in the AL East. But it is hardly a comfortable lead - one game ahead of the NY Yankees.

The teams are tied in the loss column - Boston (55-35), NY (53-35) - so Boston's lead is the result of playing (and winning) two more games.

Could be another AL East division race with the "loser" getting the wild-card berth.

By the way, only Philadelphia (57-34) has a better record in the majors.

Kyle Weiland had an interesting MLB debut. The friendly, well-liked Weiland got tossed in the fifth inning because of some over-reacting by plate umpire Marty Foster.

When Kevin Youkilis was hit by a pitch - a change-up! -  Foster issued warnings to both teams. So when Weiland came inside to Vlad Guerrero and hit him in the fifth, Weiland was automatically ejected.

Weiland's line did not look impressive: 4 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 2 BB, 2 K. But when you notice that he gave up seven hits, one walk and all six runs in the second inning, it shows that Weiland has the poise - and the stuff - to battle back.

A good sign. Suppose we might see Weiland in the Sox bullpen at the end of the year?

The next former Sea Dogs player to reach the majors could be catcher Ryan Lavarnway. He went 3-for-4 on Sunday, with two home runs and a double.

In 26 games with Pawtucket, Lavarnway is batting .343 with 7 home runs, 22 RBI and a 1.061 OPS.

Last year, Lavarnway was considered a power hitter when he hit 22 home runs in 126 games (Class A and Double-A).

This year, counting his time in Portland, Lavarnway has 21 home runs in 81 games.

Think Boston could use a right-handed power hitter?

Stephen Fife (3.59 ERA) was in line to get his 11th win Sunday until the bullpen gave it up.

Fife recovered from a 3-run first inning - he allowed the first 3 batters to reach - to pitch 7 innings: 9 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 7 K.

Outfielder Bryce Brentz began the year in low Class A Greenville. Could he end up in Portland this year? Since his promotion to advanced Class A Salem, Brentz is batting .299, with 9 home runs and 21 RBI in 22 games.

Another possible future Sea Dog is lefty Chris Hernandez (2.94). He pitched 5 innings of one-hit ball for Salem on Sunday. The one hit was a homer. His line: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K.

In the Futures All-Star Game, Will Middlebrooks went 1-for-2, and Chih-Hsien Chiang was 0-for-3 with a walk. Both will be flying back to Manchester, N.H., to take part in the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday.

 

 

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

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court


Subscribe to the
Holding Court RSS

Subscribe to the
Clearing the Bases RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

More

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.