Friday August 16, 2013 | 06:01 AM

Playing the doormat Astros, Royals and last-place Blue Jays, the Boston Red Sox figured to have a better road trip than 4-6. But the Royals turned out to be a hot team (winning 3-of-4), and the offense struggled in Toronto.

Now look what the Red Sox face: home for three against the Yankees (who are 5-2 in their last 7 games), then on the road for three in San Francisco (starting Monday after a Sunday night game in Boston), and the anticipated three against the Dodgers, the hottest team in the majors.

Tonight, Boston has Felix Doubront (8-5, 3.66) against ageless Andy Pettitte (7-9, 4.62). Doubront is 3-1 lifetime against the Yankees, with a 2.36 ERA.

The standings: 

AL EAST
Red Sox 72-51
Rays 68-51 (2 games back)
Orioles 65-55 (5.5)
Yankees 62-58 (8.5)
Jays 56-65 (15)

Anthony Ranaudo's third start in Triple-A was not long (5 2/3 innings), nor easy (nine hits). But he was effective (1 run, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts) to lower his ERA to 2.70 ... Chris Martin (3.68) pitched two hitless innings (4 K's) ... Xander Bogaerts (.298) was 1-for-3 with a walk.

Portland was shutout, wasting a start by Terry Doyle: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. His ERA is 3.59 ... Trenton lost so the Sea Dogs did not fall farther back in the standings:

EL East Wild Card Race
Trenton 65-58
New Hampshire 59-63 (5.5 games back)
Portland 58-65 (7)
New Britain 58-66 (7.5)

Salem lefty Miguel Pena (4.00) has allowed only one earned run in each of his last three starts (20 total innings). He went 7 on Thursday: 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

 

 

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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