Friday September 16, 2011 | 05:52 AM

Josh Beckett (12-5, 2.49) walks out on his healthy (hopefully) right ankle tonight to face the Rays and James Shields (15-10, 2.70).

A returned-to-form Becket and a Boston win will mean wonders for the Red Sox.

The standings: 

AL East
New York 90-58
Boston 86-63 (4.4 back)
Tampa Bay 83-66 (7.5)

Wild Card
Boston 86-63
Tampa Bay 83-66 (3 back)
LA Angels 82-67 (4)

New York's magic number to clinch the division: 10.

Boston's magic number to clinch the wild card: 12.

Remaining Games:
NEW YORK (14): at Toronto (3), Minnesota (1), Tampa Bay (4), Boston (3), at Tampa Bay (3).

BOSTON (13): Tampa Bay (3), Baltimore (4), at New York (3), at Baltimore (3).

TAMPA BAY (13): at Boston (3), at New York (4), Toronto (3), New York (3).

The playoff seeds at the moment:
1. New York 90-58
2. Detroit 87-63
3. Texas 86-64
4. Boston (wild card)

A couple of former Sea Dogs recorded their first major league hit. Jose Iglesias singled with two outs in the ninth of Thursday night's game ... Tim Federowicz, traded to the Dodgers in July, made his first start for Los Angeles, going 1-for-2 with a walk.

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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