Postgame notes: Celebration can wait

Postgame notes: Celebration can wait
September 20, 2013, 12:45 am
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BOSTON –  With their 3-1 victory over the Orioles at Fenway Park Thursday night, the Red Sox clinched their first playoff berth since 2009. Still, you wouldn’t know it from looking around the clubhouse after the game.
 
The only scene that looked remotely like a celebration was Quintin Berry sitting in front of his locker, eating a small bowl of ice cream.
 
Checking in with a few players earlier in the week, most were undecided if they would celebrate a postseason spot. As the clinching got nearer, though, most had decided the team would defer a real celebration until they clinched the American League East.
 
"We need to go out there and take care of what we need to take care of,” said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. “Tonight was a big win ... but we want to win the division."
 
“Our main goal is to try to get in, win the division, and try to win a World Series,” said Dustin Pedroia.” We'll celebrate when we win the division.”
 
John Lackey pitched a two-hitter for the victory. It  will also be his first time back to the postseason since 2009, when he helped the Angels sweep the Sox out of the ALDS before losing to the Yankees in the ALCS.
 
“There's definitely some satisfaction, for sure, just with the [Tommy John] injury and other stuff, to get back to the playoffs and get back to the way I can pitch has been fun.
 
"[But] we still got some other goals ahead of us and hopefully here in the next night or two we can get a party going."
 
With eight games remaining in the regular season, it is the earliest they've clinched a playoff spot since the 1995 Sox did so with 10 games to go.
 
Immediately after the game, manager John Farrell had not even had time to discuss his team’s accomplishments with his players. Or to think about it himself.
 
“Not really,” he said. “We knew where we’re at. We know what was pending. We still feel like the next step is a more important one than this. We know what we’re in. but we’ve said a few times that winning the east that’s been the stated goal since day one of spring training. That’s getting closer and I think that will probably be a little bit more the realization of where we’ve come from and where we are at that moment.”
 
With the Rays’ loss to the Rangers on Thursday, the Red Sox's magic number to clinch the division is 1 -- either a Sox win or Rays loss. That clincher could come Friday night when the Sox host the Blue Jays.
 
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The Red Sox ended a two-game losing streak. They have won six of their last nine and 11 of their last 15. The Sox avoided being swept for just the third time this season, and second time in a multi-game series.

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At 2 hours, 18 minutes, it was the shortest nine-inning game at Fenway Park since July 2, 2010, also against the Orioles.

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Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-4 with a double, extending his hit streak to nine games in which he is batting  .325, going 13-for-40, all since becoming the leadoff hitter. It is his fourth hit streak this season of at least nine games and is his longest since another nine-game run from  Aug. 18-28. Pedroia has an extra-base hit in each of his last four games, one game shy of his season-high streak from June 4-8.
         
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Jackie Bradley Jr. went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored. It was his second career multi-hit game, also June 1 at Yankee Stadium when he had three hits. His double in the first inning snapped an 0-for-13  slide. ...Stephen Drew went 2-for-3 with his seventh triple of the season and his 13th home run. It was his fifth career game with a triple and a home run, the first since Sept. 23, 2010, against Colorado while with the Arizona.

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 1-for-4 Twith his 37th double of the season. He is two doubles shy of the Red Sox franchise record for a primary catcher, set by Carlton Fisk in 1978 and matched by Jason Varitek in 1999. Saltalamacchia has a six-game hitting streak in which he is batting .350 going 7-for-20. ...The Orioles' Adam Jones’ home run with one out in the seventh inning broke up John Lackey’s no-hit bid, and ended Jones' 0-for-11 slide. Of Jones’ eight career home runs at Fenway Park, six have come in the seventh inning or later.