Friday, December 13, 2013
Just as a poor start in April does not doom a team, one win over Tampa Bay does not make the comeback complete for the Boston Red Sox. But it sure was a good sign to see Clay Buchholz dealing in a 6-1 win.
The AL East standings has Tampa Bay (32-13) leading; New York (26-18) 5.5 back; Toronto (27-20), 6; and Boston (25-21), 7.5.
Mike Cameron, fresh from his fun with the Portland Sea Dogs, is expected to be activated today. Darnell McDonald, who is out of options, will be designated for assignment. If the Sox are luck (and McDonald unlucky) no teams will claim him for their 40-man roster, and McDonald can go back to Pawtucket.
McDonald, 31, batted .263 for Boston with 3 home runs and 11 RBI. He provided the insurance the Red Sox were hoping for when they signed him.
Think Tampa Bay has good pitching now? The Rays have more arms in the system. In Triple-A, Jeremy Hellickson of Tampa Bay-affiliated Durham, carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Pawtucket. Aaron Bates (.233) broke it up with a single.
Pawtucket (and former Portland) lefty Kris Johnson was the tough-luck loser, giving up a solo home run in the 1-0 loss. Johnson went 6 innings (3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K). After struggling all last season and the beginning of this year, Johnson has allow 3 earned runs in his last 3 starts (18 IP).
Portland lost 7-2 in Reading. Yamaico Navarro (.248) had two hits.
Greenville provided excitement for the home crowd with a 5-run 9th-inning rally for an 8-7 win. Jeremy Hazelbaker (.240), a fourth-round draft pick last year, capped the rally with a two-run double.
Cleveland Indians (and former Portland Sea Dogs) starter Justin Masterson continued his downer start to 2010. Masterson (0-5, 6.13) went 4 innings Monday (9 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 0 K). Maybe a move to the bullpen is in order. Masterson could be a prime set-up guy.Tweet
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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