Sunday September 11, 2011 | 07:55 AM

The way things are going for the Boston Red Sox, Jon Lester will not only lose today's game, but come off the field limping.

But, seriously, Lester could turn things around beautifully for Boston with a win. (A Boston win and a Yankees loss to the Angels, would have the Red Sox looking again at a run for the division, instead of worrying about the closing Rays in the Wild Card race.

The standings:

AL East
New York 87-57
Boston 85-60 (2.5 back)
Tampa Bay 80-64 (7)

Wild Card
Boston 85-60
Tampa Bay 80-64 (4.5 back)
LA Angels 80-65 (5)

New York's magic number to clinch the division: 17.

Boston's magic number to clinch the wild card: 14.

The playoff seeds at the moment:
1. New York 87-57
2. Detroit 83-62
3. Texas 82-64
4. Boston (wild card)

The Angels are only 1.5 games behind Texas, so the Rangers are sweating things out more than Boston.

Today's Lester vs. James Shields match-up is a repeat from the Aug. 16 3-1 Red Sox win. Both pitchers threw 3-hitters, but one of Boston's hits was a Jacoby Ellsbury 3-run homer.

A couple of minor league playoff notes: Pawtucket was eliminated from the playoffs, swept by Lehigh Valley 3-0. In Saturday's 3-1 loss, Pawtucket starter Alex Wilson went 7 innings (3 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 6 K).

In the Eastern League playoffs, New Hampshire went up 2-1 in its series with Reading after a 1-0 win. Richmond beat Harrisburg 4-2 in 11 innings to take a 2-0 lead.

In today's column, we look at several former Sea Dogs now with other organizations.

 

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


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