Wednesday September 28, 2011 | 06:11 AM

Ryan Lavarnway got his first start as a catcher Tuesday night: Two home runs. Four RBI (and almost three more before a sensational catch by Nick Markakis).

Solid game defensively, throwing out a base-stealer and later making a huge play on a dribbler down the first base line.

Lavarnway began the season in Portland. Other players have made the jump from Double-A to the majors in one year. But to make such a splash in the majors at such a key time brings to mind memories of Jacoby Ellsbury in 2007.

The potential was always there. We saw it in 2010 when he first arrived at Hadlock Field. (Check out this Lavarnway feature).

As for another former Sea Dogs standout ... which Jon Lester will show up tonight.

Before his last three starts, Lester was 15-6 with a 2.93 ERA.

He is now 15-9 (3.49), having allowed 16 runs in his last 13 2/3 innings.

Lester lasted only 2 2/3 innings last time out, so it is hoped that going on only three days' rest won't be a problem.

What could be a problem is Orioles right-hander Alfredo Simon (4-9, 4.85). He has been up and down. Although winless in his last six starts, he went 8 innings his last time out against Detroit (6 H, 3 ER).

In St. Petersburg, the Rays are throwing strong lefty David Price against a committee of New York pitchers (the Yankees have not named a starter).

If Boston and Tampa Bay finished tied, they will meet Thursday in St. Petersburg for a one-game playoff.

Another, less important race going on is for the No. 2 seed. Detroit is one game behind Texas. If the teams finished tied, the Tigers have the tiebreaker.

The standings, one last time:

Wild Card
Boston 90-71
Tampa Bay 90-71

Boston's and Tampa Bay's magic number to clinch the wild card: 2.

Remaining Games:
TONIGHT
Boston (Jon Lester) at Baltimore (Alfredo Simon)
New York (TBD) at Tampa Bay (David Price)

The playoff seeds at the moment:
1. New York 97-64
2. Texas 95-66
3. Detroit 94-67
4. Boston or Tampa Bay (wild card)

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


Subscribe to the
Holding Court RSS

Subscribe to the
Clearing the Bases RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

More

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.