Saturday, March 8, 2014
With their 4-2 extra-inning win against the Blue Jays Tuesday night, the Boston Red Sox have now won 26 percent of their games (19-of-72) with their last at-bat. Sign of a good team.
Boston featured two 2-run rallies. Will Middlebrooks (2-for-5) had a hit in both of those rallies. He is 5-for-12 since coming back from Pawtucket ... Koji Uehara (1.32) got the win. His 55th appearance also guarantees his contract for next year ($4.25-million). Don't think Boston is complaining about that.
The Rays lost their sixth straight so Boston has its biggest lead in over a month:
Red Sox 72-49
Rays 66-51 (4 games back)
Orioles 65-54 (6)
Yankees 61-57 (9.5)
Jays 54-65 (17)
Jon Lester (10-7, 4.27) is on the mound tonight against Esmil Rogers (3-7, 5.12). Rogers had been sent to the bullpen but is needed because Josh Johnson is injured.
Xander Bogaerts (.293) went 3-for-4 while playing third base for Pawtucket. With Jose Iglesias traded, Bogaerts has to be considered the next choice if either Middlebrooks or shortstop Stephen Drew is injured.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (.277) was 1-for-3 ... Alex Hassan (.315) went 2-for-2 with two walks, boosting is OBP to .430.
The Sea Dogs won behind starter Keith Couch: 7 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K ... Travis Shaw (.224) was 4-for-4) .. Shortstop Deven Marrero went 2-for-4 in his Double-A debut ... Garin Cecchini (.299) was 1-for-4 with a walk (.419 OBP).
Salem lost an 18-inning game 3-2 in Wilmington, Del. As is often the case, Salem lost because it ran out of pitchers first. Second-baseman Vlad Frias entered in relief in the 17th. He pitched a scoreless inning before giving up the game-winner with two outs in the 18th.
Lefty Brian Johnson (2.86) pitched 7 innings for Greenville: 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 6 K.
In Altoona tonight, Chris Hernandez goes for the Sea Dogs, who still have playoff hopes:
EL East Wild Card Race
Portland 55-63 (6 games back )
New Britain 58-64 (6.5)
New Hampshire 57-63 (6.5)
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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