Friday July 15, 2011 | 04:25 AM

With the Yankees loss to Toronto Thursday, the Red Sox can completely claim first place in the AL East, both in the standings and the loss column. Boston (55-35) leads New York (53-36) by 1.5 games.

In the minors, Ryan Lavarnway (.350) continues to hit for Pawtucket, going 2-for-4.

In Portland, both Will Middlebrooks and Jeremy Hazelbaker homered. The poor-luck loser was Junichi Tazawa (1-2), who actually pitched well over 3 1/3 innings (3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 4 K). See the Press Herald game story.

Salem got a decent start out of Drake Britton, whose innings are being limited. He threw 3 innings (5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 6 K).

Greenville's Keith Couch (3.10 ERA) threw 7 innings (3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K).

And Lowell's Jason Garcia, 18, pitched 5 innings - 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 7 K. His ERA is 1.13.


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.

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