Thursday August 02, 2012 | 08:10 AM

Now that the Red Sox won 2-of-3 from the Tigers, they welcome the hapless Twins (44-60) to Fenway for four games.

But remember two weeks ago when Boston won 3-for-4 against the White Sox, and then welcomed the last-place Blue Jays? Toronto swept the three-game series.

Boston (53-52) is in sixth place in the wild card standings, 3 1/2 games out (see standings below).

Tonight, lefty Jon Lester (5-8, 5.49) goes for Boston against the Twins' Sam Deduno (2-0, 3.13).

On Friday, the Red Sox go with another lefty (Felix Doubront, 10-5, 4.37).

More left-handers are coming, maybe one by the end of this season.

It was interesting to see left-hander Chris Hernandez promoted from Portland to Pawtucket last month. He features an array of pitches and a veteran's composure. Might the Red Sox be putting him on the fast track? He is 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in Triple-A and makes his third start today.

Another promising lefty, Drake Britton (2-4, 4.64) starts for the Sea Dogs today at noon (did I mention you can follow Britton's progress on Twitter? @ClearTheBases)

In low Class A Greenville, left-hander Henry Owens continues on his impressive first pro season, Owens, who turned 20 two weeks ago, pitched 5 innings Wednesday: 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K's. He is 11-4 with a 5.04 ERA, with 117 strikeouts/38 walks in 85 innings.

When Doubront was 20, he also pitched in Greenville, going 12-8 in 2008, with a 3.67 ERA, with 118 strikeouts/24 walks in 115 innings. Signed as a teenager out of Venezuela, Doubront was already in his fourth pro season then.

And now for those AL East and Wild Card standings: 

Yankees 61-43
Orioles 55-49 (6.5 back)
Rays 55-50 (6.5)
Red Sox 53-52 (8.5)
Blue Jays 51-53 (10)

Angels 57-48
A’s 56-48
Orioles 55-50 (1.5 back)
Tigers 55-50 (1.5)
Rays 55-50 (1.5)
Red Sox 53-52 (3.5)
Blue Jays 51-53 (5)
Indians 50-54 (6)
Seattle 50-57 (7.5)



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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