Friday May 10, 2013 | 06:30 AM

I go away for three days on the Appalachian Trail and come back to a slumping Boston Red Sox team that has lost three straight (at home, to the Twins), and now six of seven. On top of that, Boston has lost one closer, Joel Hanrahan, to the 60-day DL, while the other, Andrew Bailey, is still on the DL with a sore biceps muscle.

Now we will see how this clubhouse full of good guys handles the dreaded A-word (adversity).

Tonight's game looks like one of those lopsided match-ups in Boston's favor (which often times turns into trouble). Jon Lester (4-0, 3.30) goes against ageless Ramon Ortiz, who turns 40 in two weeks. Ortiz, recently called up from Buffalo, is making his second appearance and first start for the Jays, in place of ailing Brandon Morrow (back spasms).

The Red Sox have called up reliever Jose De La Torre, which coincides with the day that minor league pitcher Kyle Kaminska retired.

Both pitchers came to the Red Sox indirectly through Kevin Youkilis. When Boston dealt Youkilis to the White Sox last June, it received Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart in return. Lillibridge was eventually dealt to Cleveland for De La Torre, and Stewart was sent to Pittsburgh in the off season for Kaminska.

Kaminska, 24, began the year in the Sea Dogs rotation, but had a 9.00 ERA in four starts. He was sent to Class A Salem and had a 4.38 ERA in two starts. That is when he decided to walk away.

The Sea Dogs were rained out Thursday and play a doubleheader in New Britain today.

Pawtucket completed a series sweep of the Gwinnett Braves Thursday. Bryce Brentz (.252) was 2-for-5 with his sixth home runs ... Ron Bermudez went 6-for-9 with two doubles in his last two games.

Reliever Chris Balcom-Miller, who has been with the Sea Dogs the past two seasons, has finally left extended spring training. He stayed in Fort Myers because of a sore back. He joined Salem on Thursday, presumably on the road back to Portland.



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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