Wednesday June 27, 2012 | 01:11 AM

With their 5-1 win over Toronto, the Red Sox improved to 39-35, 6.5 games behind the Yankees (45-28), 2.5 behind Baltimore (41-32) and only one behind Tampa Bay (40-34).

Today at 1:30 p.m., Jon Lester (4-5, 4.48 ERA) goes against Toronto lefty Ricky Romero (8-1, 4.34).

On the Chicago watch, Kevin Youkilis went 1-for-4 in his second game with the White Sox, while Anthony Rizzo got called up to the majors for the first time in 2012, going 2-for-4 for the Cubs, with a double and RBI.

Pawtucket lost as former Sea Dogs pitcher Billy Buckner lasted 4 2/3 innings (8 H, 8 R, 1 BB, 6 K) ... Good to see shortstop Jose Iglesias off the DL, even if he went 0-for-5.

The Sea Dogs went 13 innings with New Hampshire (4 hours, 10 minutes), losing 5-3. Four Portland players accounted for all 12 hits - 3 apiece from Jackie Bradley Jr., Jeremy Hazelbaker, Derrik Gibson and Peter Hissey ... Reliever Josh Fields retired 10 of 11 batters he faced.

Bradley was impressive in his at-bats, reaching base 5-of-7 times. He worked the count full five times and saw a total of 45 pitches in his 7 plate appearances.

In the 7th inning, with Portland threatening, New Hampshire brought in lefty side-armer Aaron Loup to face Bradley. Left-handers are hitting .225 against him. Bradley took a called first strike, fouled off the next two pitches, took a ball, and then bounced a ball to third, beating the throw for an infield single.

In six games in Double-A, Bradley is batting .360 (9-of-25), with a .448 on-base percentage.

For more, see the game story.

Salem also went 13 innings, but with a 6-5 win. Shannon Wilkerson (.297) went 3-for-6, including the game-tying RBI double in the 9th ... Michael Almanzar (.290) led off the 13th with a double and eventually scored on Sean Coyles's RBI single.

Greenville's catching prospect, Blake Swihart, went 1-for-4, but is still hitting .320 in June (.256 overall). Swihart turned 20 in April.

2012 first-round draft pick Deven Marrero hit his first home run for Lowell. He's batting .500 (6-for-12).

The Sea Dogs play at 7 p.m. tonight. Jeremy Kehrt gets the spot start.

 

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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