Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The beauty of a 162-game season is that no team can hide its weaknesses forever.
The first-place Tampa Bay Rays demonstrated they are not as dominant as their record shows. Or, as St. Petersburg Times columnist Gary Shelton put it, "The Rays have a lineup filled with streak hitters and 100-strikeout performers. On this budget, a team doesn't hire complete hitters ..."
As for the Red Sox, John Lackey gutted through an off night (6 1/3 IP,l 8H, 2 R, 4 BB, 1 K). Hideki Okajima (2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and Ramon Ramirez (1 IP, 1 K) added welcome clutch relief.
Who would have guessed that Adrian Beltre would be batting .341 with 5 HR and 33 RBI, or that David Ortiz would have his numbers up to .266, 10, 27?
The AL East: Tampa Bay 32-15; New York 28-18 (3.5 back), Boston 27-21 (5.5).
The Red Sox return to Boston tonight. The Sea Dogs are still on the road, so I will check back later from Fenway.
Speaking of those Sea Dogs, they lost their third straight in Reading, 5-3. Bryce Cox gave up a 3-run homer in the bottom of the ninth ... Casey Kelly (4.32 ERA) started (5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K) ... Luis Exposito (.253) was 2-for-4 with his 31st RBI.
Salem's Alex Wilson started and went 6 innings (2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K).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
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court
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