Rays - 101 000 300 - 5 8 0An early burst of runs -- back-to-back home runs from David Ortiz and Adrian Beltre in the first and RBI hits from Victor Martinez and Ortiz in the second -- coupled with Ryan Kalish's grand slam in the fourth carried the Red Sox to victory.
Red Sox - 330 500 10x - 12 9 0
Lester (6-4-2-3-10, 94) allowed baserunners in only the first and third innings. He stranded two in the first and left the bases loaded in the third. The pen stumbled in the seventh -- Robert Coello (in his major league debut) issued two bases-loaded walks and Dustin Richardson added another -- but things settled down after that. Boston has walked in seven runs in the last two days.
In addition to the four-run homer, Kalish singled, walked, stole two bases, and scored three times. J.D. Drew singled twice and walked and Daniel Nava walked twice and singled. Lars Anderson went 0-for-4; all 12 pitches he saw were strikes.
Baltimore beat the Yankees 4-3 during the afternoon, so Boston gained a game on both teams. The Red Sox are 6.5 GB in the WC and 9 GB in the ALE.
Jeff Neimann / Jon Lester
Lars Anderson makes his major league debut. Josh Reddick has also been called up. Pawtucket's season ended yesterday.Nava, LF
Everyone knows Boston's post-season chances are thisclose to nil -- the projections at BP (2.1%, 0.9%, 1.7%) and Cool Standings (1.1%) reflect that. Plus, the White Sox's weekend sweep pushed the Red Sox into 3rd place for the wild card.
Back on September 1, YFSF looked at the rest of the season:
If I were a Sox fan who had not yet given up on this season, I would be hoping the Sox can get through next week's home series against the Rays and return home on September 16 from their 6-game stint in Oakland and Seattle no more than 6 back of the Yankees. The Yanks will be entering arguably their toughest stretch of the year ... Boston would be banking on making up the bulk of ground in those final two weeks.But ... what if the Red Sox swept the Rays? They would be 4.5 GB Tampa Bay with 22 games to play. Would that do anything for you?
Since that post last Wednesday, the Red Sox have not helped their cause at all, going 2-3 and losing another two games in the standings. ... Being 6 GB on September 16 wouldn't guarantee a damn thing, of course, plus it would involve picking up 4.5 games in 10 games (11 days) -- and continuing to steamroll. ... Yeah, a 1.3% shot seems about right. ... Just win one game, tonight's game, and all that, etc.
Anyway ... Neimann was on the DL (right shoulder strain) for most of August. He has made two starts since returning -- allowing 17 runs in 8.1 innings -- and seen his ERA rise by nearly a full run, to 3.97.
AL East: Orioles/Yankees, 1 PM