Red Sox - 000 100 000 - 1 5 0Masterson turned in another "quality start" (6.2-4-3-3-9, 98), but the Sox bats were silent.
Reds - 100 200 00x - 3 4 0
Only two Boston runners touched second base, both in the fourth inning (Ellsbury doubled and two outs later, Manny and Lowell singled). Cincinnati's three pitchers did not issue a walk all night. Drew went 0-for-4 and did not get the ball out of the infield.
Tampa Bay beat Florida 7-3 to move 1.5 GB Boston. The Yankees beat Houston 2-1 and are, once again, a season-best two games over .500.
Justin Masterson (2.59, 169 ERA+) / Aaron Harang (4.31, 102 ERA+)
Fresh off a 7-2 homestand that boosted their MLB-best home record to 28-7, the Red Sox hit the road for some more interleague action in Ohio.
Boston leads Tampa Bay in the East by 2.5 games. The Red Sox's largest lead this season has been 3.5 games (May 5-8).
Despite the team's 31-8 record against the NL since the start of 2006, Terry Francona doesn't like the gimmicky mid-season annoyance (that's my description, not his!):
It's not set up fair. You set your team up to play American League baseball and you go and play National League baseball. ... You're asking guys to do things they're not used to doing. I've never quite understood the fairness.It's the franchise's first trip to Cincinnati since Games 3-4-5 of the 1975 World Series. Boston swept the Reds in three games at Fenway in June 2005 (10-3, 7-0 and 6-1).
Last week, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick wrote a nice overview of the Reds. Cincinnati's BR page is here.
Manny's hamstring troubles may prevent him from playing left field. Sean Casey will start tonight in place of hometown boy Kevin Youkilis.
In Pawtucket, Clay Buchholz explains how he has dropped his arm angle to "not quite three-quarters" to regain consistent command of his fastball.
Tonight: Our new rivals (2.5 GB) host the Marlins, while our old rivals (7 GB) visit Houston.
The Yankees (34-33) were a season-best two games over .500 back on April 23 (12-10). Since then, there have been six occasions when the MFY were one game over .500 -- 12-11, 14-13, 17-16, 28-27, 32-31, 33-32 -- and could have matched that high-water mark, but they always lost the next game. Tonight is their 7th attempt.