Monday June 17, 2013 | 06:05 AM

The Red Sox get today off, to recover from a 1-3 series in Baltimore. The Orioles are closing in, the Yankees and Rays are hanging around, and even the Blue Jays have won five straight.

The standings: 

Red Sox 42-29
Orioles 40-30 (1.5 games back)
Yankees 38-31 (3)
Rays 36-33 (5)
Jays 32-36 (8.5)

Jon Lester (6-4) took the loss, allowing five runs in five innings. His 4.37 ERA is now fourth-best in the rotation, ahead of only Felix Doubront (4.91).

Lester's first nine starts: 18 ER in 59 2/3 innings: 2.71

Lester's last six starts: 28 ER in 35 innings: 7.20

In the minors, knuckleball pitcher Steven Wright (the only right-hander we will talk about) showed rare control, going eight innings: 5 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 7 K (97 pitches, 69 strikes). Wright is 3-4, 4.60.

Portland lefty Drake Britton(6-5, 3.08)  put in another fine performance: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 1 K. The question remains: why is Britton still in Double-A? See the game story.

Salem lefty Henry Owens continues to compile the strikeouts, with seven more Sunday, in 4 1/3 innings. He also gave up 5 H, 2 R and 3 BB. Owens (5-2, 3.03) has 80 K's and 28 walks in 65 1/3 innings.

Greenville lefty Cody Kukuk (3-7, 4.66) gave up only one hit in 3 2/3 innings on Sunday, but he matched a season high with six walks. He allowed one run and struck out three. Kukuk, who is in his first full pro season, has 48 strikeouts and 43 walks in 46 1/3 innings.



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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