Friday, March 7, 2014
The Red Sox keep marching along toward the post-season, while also increasing their lead for the best record in the American League by four games. Boston was helped Saturday by Seattle (beating Tampa Bay 6-2) and Kansas City (beating Detroit 4-3).
Nice races for second place. The Tigers and A's are tied for second, for the best record in the AL, and Baltimore is sneaking up on Tampa Bay in the AL East, as the wild card battle gets interesting.
Red Sox 87-57
Rays 77-64 (8.5 games back)
Orioles 76-65 (9.5)
Yankees 75-67 (11)
Boston’s magic number: 12
Boston (18): at Yankees (1), at Rays (3), Yankees (3), Orioles (3), Blue Jays (3), at Rockies (2), at Orioles (3).
Rays (21): at Mariners (1), Red Sox (3), at Twins (3), Rangers (4), Orioles (4), at Yankees (3), at Blue Jays (3).
Tampa Bay 77-64
Baltimore 76-65 (1 game back)
Cleveland 76-65 (1)
New York 75-67 (2.5)
Kansas City 74-68 (3.5)
In Boston's win Saturday, Xander Bogaerts made an impression with his first major league home run - a blast beyond the bullpen in left center. But Bogaerts can also field, like this play he made on Robinson Cano.
The Red Sox hot streak has been tempered by news that Jacoby Ellsbury may have a broken bone in his right foot. More tests today. Jackie Bradley Jr. was called up. He went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs.
Today, Jon Lester (13-8, 3.88) goes against Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.99). In their last three starts, Lester is 2-1 with a 2.21 ERA, while Kuroda is 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA.
Ryan Dempster is in line to start Boston's next game, Tuesday at Tampa Bay, unless Clay Buchholz replaces him. Dempster's numbers may not be impressive, but he has been what the Red Sox expected when they signed him. See today's column.
Rochester routed Pawtucket to force a deciding Game 5 today in Rhode Island. PawSox starter Matt Barnes had given up two runs through four innings, and then allowed the first three batters to reach in the fifth before leaving. All three scored. Barnes' line: 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K ... Alex Wilson followed Barnes and struggled: 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 1 K ... Allen Webster will not be available today. He reportedly has been called up to join the Red Sox in New York ... Christian Vazquez (2-for-4) is batting .429 in the playoffs.
Harrisburg beat Erie 5-1 to set up the Eastern League championship series between the Senators and Trenton.
Salem took Game 1 in the Carolina League championship series, beating Potomac 5-3 ... Sox starter Heri Quevedo pitched seven shutout innings: 5 H, 1 BB, 4 K ... Quevedo, 23, a Dominican, is in his first year of pro ball.
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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