Red Sox reach 90-win milestone

Red Sox reach 90-win milestone
September 14, 2013, 12:15 am
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BOSTON – The Red Sox beat the Yankees, 8-4, Friday night at Fenway Park, behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s seventh-inning grand slam. It was the Sox’ 90th win of the season, matching their high-water mark of 31 games over .500, at 90-59.
The Sox have reached the 90-win mark for the fifth time in the last seven seasons since 2007, and the ninth time in the last 12 seasons. It is their 11th 90-win season since 1998, the second-most in baseball in that span, behind the Yankees' 13 90-win seasons.
It is just the third time since 1951 the Sox have reached 90 wins before their 150th game of the season. They also accomplished the feat in 1986 and 2007.
They have won 21 more games than last season, when they finished 69-93. That passes the 1967 ‘Impossible Dream’ team for the team’s biggest turnaround from one season to the next (not including strike-shortened seasons) since the 1946 team went 104-50, winning 33 more games than the 1945 team.
* The Sox are 11-6 against the Yankees this season.
Although it was a non-save situation, Koji Uehara pitched a perfect ninth inning. He has now retired 37 consecutive batters, extending the longest streak in team history. According to research by SABR, that is the 10th-longest streak in baseball history and the second-longest by a reliever since Bobby Jenks retired 41 straight batters in 2007 with the White Sox. Uehara has not allowed a run in a career-high 30 1/3 innings, passing Colorado’s Rex Brothers, who went 30.0 IP from April 10 – June 27, for the longest scoreless streak in the majors this season. It is the longest single-season scoreless streak by an American League pitcher since Oakland’s Brad Ziegler went 39.0 innings from May 31 – Aug. 14, 2008.

* Since Sept. 4. Red Sox relievers have allowed eight of 22 inherited runners to score, including two of four Friday night.

* David Ortiz went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an intentional walk and was hit by a pitch. This was his 11th game this season with multiple extra-base hits and third in his last nine games. In those nine games, nine of his 11 hits have gone for extra bases with six doubles and three home runs. Ortiz was intentionally walked for the 24th time this season, a new single-season career high, and most by a Red Sox batter since Manny Ramirez in 2003 with 28. It was the first time since June 9, 2011, Ortiz had been hit by pitch. The last was by CC Sabathia at Yankee Stadium.

* Yankees pitchers have allowed six grand slams this season, with three by Red Sox batters. Mike Napoli had the other two, before Saltalamacchia’s on Friday.

* Left-hander Jon Lester is scheduled to start Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. He is averaging 9.08 strikeouts per nine innings in his career against the Yankees, with 148 strikeouts in 146 2/3 innings pitched. It is the third-highest rate against the Yankees in history (with a minimum of 125 innings pitched), trailing on Pedro Martinez’s 10.84 and Randy Johnson’s 9.24. He has eight wins against the Yankees since the start of the 2009 season, tied with Tampa Bay’s David Price for the most by any pitcher against the Yankees in that span. In his last five starts since Aug. 19, Lester is 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA, giving up eight earned runs in 36 2/3 innings, pitching at least six innings in all five starts.

* Left-hander CC Sabathia is scheduled to make his 31st start of the season on Saturday afternoon. It will be his 27th career start against the Red Sox and fifth this season. He is 10-10 with a 4.62 ERA in his career against the Sox. Since joining the Yankees in 2009, he is 8-6 with a 4.91 ERA in 19 starts against the Sox, with just three wins at Fenway Park. He last started on Sept. 9 at Baltimore, taking the loss after going 7 1/3 innings, giving up four runs, three earned on seven hits.  He has won four of his last six starts since Aug. 13, going 4-2 with a 5.21 ERA, giving up 22 earned runs in 38 innings. Prior to that he had lost five of his previous eight starts, going 1-5 with a 6.12 ERA, giving up 34 earned runs in 50 innings.