Sunday, March 9, 2014
Fresh from a 4-2 trip out west, the first-place Red Sox face a irritating foe. The Baltimore Orioles come to Fenway for a three-game series, starting tonight.
Baltimore is 6-4 against Boston this season. Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen (7-6, 3.19) is has enjoyed success against the Red Sox, going 2-1 (2.96). Boston will counter with Felix Doubront (9-6, 3.79).
Red Sox 77-55
Rays 74-55 (1.5 games back)
Orioles 70-59 (5.5)
Yankees 69-62 (7.5)
Elsewhere in the majors, outfielder Rey Fuentes, 22, made his major league debut with the Padres, going 0-for-3. Fuentes, part of the Adrian Gonzalez deal between San Diego and Boston, has broken through this year. After batting .218 in Double-A last year, he hit a combined .330 in Double-A and Triple-A this season.
Allen Webster (3.68 ERA) looked sharp for Pawtucket: 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 6 K ... Jackie Bradley Jr. (.279) went 3-for-4.
Portland won in New Hampshire. Juan Carlos Linares (.251) enjoyed a two-homer, six-RBI game. Linares, a Cuban defector, has had an up-and-down career since signing with the Red Sox. He began 2011 in Triple-A but broke his leg early in the season. He has bounced between Double-A and Triple-A since. He hit a combined .316 last year, but is down to .244 in 2013.
The question concerning Linares is about time. Is it running out? Linares turns 29 in two weeks.
Garin Cecchini (.294) had two hits for Portland, as did Christian Vazquez (.291) ... Noe Ramirez got the save, retiring all eight batters he faced (2 K's).
The Red Sox Gulf Coast rookie-league team featured three intriguing arms on Monday. Pat Light, the 2012 sandwich-round draft pick, started and went 3 innings: 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K. Light is recovering from a torn hamstring muscle.
Relieving Light was none other than Daniel Bard, making his first game appearance since May 15 (when he was wild with the Sea Dogs). Bard allowed one hit and one walk in one inning, striking out one.
Alfredo Aceves came in after Bard: 1 IP, 1 BB.
The Sea Dogs and Henry Owens are in New Hampshire tonight:
EL East Wild Card Race
New Hampshire 66-68 (3 games back)
Portland 65-69 (4)
New Britain 63-72 (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.
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