Wednesday August 17, 2011 | 07:04 AM

They have the third best record in all of baseball, but are in second place in the American League East. While the Red Sox are a half-game behind the Yankees, they still lead Tampa Bay by nine in the Wild Card race.

AL East
New York 74-46
Boston 74-47 (.5 back)
Tampa Bay 65-56 (9.5)

Wild Card
Boston 74-47
Tampa Bay 65-56 (9 back)
Angels 65-58 (10 back)

A win today gives Boston a 10-game lead in the wild card, with 40 games to go.

John Lackey (11-8, 6-13) goes against David Price (10-10, 3.76).

In the minors, Ryan Lavarnway was off in Pawtucket but fellow catcher Luis Exposito (.243) went 2-for-4.

The Sea Dogs had their first promotion to Pawtucket in two months (when Lavarnway went up), as Alex Wilson finally got the call. Wilson (9-4, 3.05; 99 K's in 112 IP), has been in Portland since June of last season, so his promotion has been expected for some time.

Replacing Wilson was Matt Rusch, 28, signed out of the independent Can-Am League.

I'll be checking in from Fenway (follow the tweets @ClearTheBases

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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