Friday September 27, 2013 | 05:49 AM

The Red Sox are looking ahead to the playoffs, while trying to hold off the A's (and the Tigers for now) to obtain home field advantage.

Plenty of other issues to watch as Boston plays three games in Baltimore.

Clay Buchholz starts tonight. He keeps improving since coming off the DL. Will he stay sharp?

Jacoby Ellsbury (nobody step on his foot!).

Bullpen. How is Ryan Dempster adjusting to the role? Will Felix Doubront get a "tryout" out of the pen? Who is on the bubble?

Will Quintin Berry get a few more chances to show what he can do as a pinch runner?

Is Jackie Bradley Jr. still being considered for a roster spot?

Besides the Boston-Oakland-Detroit race for the best record, there is a tighter contest going on for the last two wild card spots. Tampa Bay, Cleveland and Detroit are in the hunt.

Tampa Bat beat the Yankees 4-0. No one will remember the score of that game. It was an emotional scene at Yankee Stadium when Mariano Rivera pitched his last game there, and manager Joe Girardi made a classy gesture by designating two teammates to take Rivera out of the game. See the video.

Cleveland beat Minnesota 6-5. The Twins made it interesting by scoring four in the bottom of the ninth ... Texas beat the Angels 6-5 on Jurickson Profar's walk-off home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth.

The numbers: 

Boston 96-63
Oakland 94-65 (2 games behind)
Detroit 93-66 (3)

To clinch the best record in the AL: 2

Boston (3): at Orioles (3).
A’s (3): at Mariners (3).
Tigers (3): at Marlins (3)

Wild Card
Tampa Bay 90-69
Cleveland 89-70
Texas 88-71 (1 game back)

Red Sox at Orioles
A’s at Mariners
Tigers at Marlins
Rays at Blue Jays
Indians at Twins
Angels at Rangers


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.

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