Monday September 02, 2013 | 02:06 AM

Two years ago, the Red Sox began a historic September collapse with a 4-2 loss to the Yankees. On Sept. 1, 2013, Boston beat the White Sox 7-6 to increase its lead in the Al East to 5.5 games.

Dare we mention that the magic number to clinch the AL East is 21 (the combination of Red Sox wins and Rays losses. If the Orioles or Yankees surge, we might need to re-calibrate).

Red Sox 82-56
Rays 75-60 (5.5 games back)
Orioles 72-63 (8.5)
Yankees 72-64 (9)

Boston’s magic number: 21

Boston (24): Tigers (3), at Yankees (4), at Rays (3), Yankees (3), Orioles (3), Blue Jays (3), at Rockies (2), at Orioles (3).
Rays (27): At Angels (4), at Mariners (3), Red Sox (3), at Twins (3), Rangers (4), Orioles (4), at Yankees (3), at Blue Jays (3).

Today, John Lackey (8-11, 3.19) goes against Detroit and Doug Fister (11-7, 3.81).

The other big Red Sox news on Sunday was the DFA (designated for assignment) of Daniel Bard. Another team can pick up Bard, if it puts Bard on its 40-man roster. Will anyone take a chance? How about the San Diego Padres, where Mike Cather is the roving pitching coordinator? Cather, the former Sea Dogs pitching coach, help Bard get back on track before.

In other major league news, former Sea Dogs lefty Kris Johnson made his first major league start, in a pressure cooker, pitching for the Pirates against the Cardinals. Johnson lasted three batters into the third innings (seven hits, five runs).

Pawtucket won 5-0 in a game shortened to six innings because of rain. Alex Hassan (.321), fresh off the DL, went 2-for-3. Might he get a call up to the majors after the Pawtucket post-season? … Steven Wright (8-7, 3.46) threw a three-hit shutout.

The Sea Dogs lost. Henry Owens gave up two first-inning home runs, but rebounded to go 5 2/3 innings: 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 8 K (see today’s game story) … The Sea Dogs sold out Sunday, but attendance has been slipping. See today’s column.

Salem second baseman Mookie Betts (.337) continues to hit, going 3-for-3.

The Sea Dogs close out their season today at 1 p.m. Follow on Twitter: @ClearTheBases


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

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court

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December 2013

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December 2012

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