Saturday August 13, 2011 | 07:35 AM

Tampa Bay beat the Yankees and C.C. Sabathia with five solo home runs on Friday. The Rays, 9.5 games behind the Sox, are 7.5 behind New York in the wild card race.

Former Sea Dogs catcher Kelly Shoppach had one of the home runs. He went 2-for-4, but is still batting only .183.

David Price went 8 innings for the Rays: 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K. Price will likely start in Fenway next Wednesday.

The Rays have Jeremy Hellickson (10-7, 3.08) today against Phil Hughes (2-4, 7.11). On the West coast, Boston and Seattle send out their aces - Josh Beckett vs. Felix Hernandez.

The standings: 

AL East
Boston 73-44
New York 71-46 (2 back)
Tampa Bay 64-54 (8.5)

Wild Card
New York 71-46
Angels 65-54 (7 back)
Tampa Bay 64-54 (7.5)

The Sea Dogs play at home today at 6 p.m. Alex Wilson (9-4, 2.93) gets the start. he has 93 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings.

Wilson seems to be in the same position as Kyle Weiland last year. Weiland stayed with the Sea Dogs for all of 2010, but remained high on the Red Sox radar. Look for Wilson to start next year in Pawtucket, with a possible call to Boston.

Want to root for an underdog? Outfielder Matt Marquis was drafted by Boston in 2008 out of high school, in the 28th round. He went to the University of Maryland instead. Marquis batted only .207 this past year, and the Red Sox still drafted him again, albeit in the 41st round. He signed this time.

Marquis went 4-for-5 with a home run for Lowell on Friday. he is batting .500 (8-for-16) with two home runs.



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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