For starters, Red Sox aren't that bad

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For starters, Red Sox aren't that bad

Sometimes it's interesting to see ourselves as others see us.
Steve Melewski of MASN Sports in Baltimore ranked the starting rotations of the five A.L. East teams today, and the Red Sox came in second. No real surprise there . . . but he ranks them ahead of the Yankees, who are third. (The Rays -- with David Price, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson and Matt Moore in tow -- are first.)
The Sox, writes Melewski, "could have a formidable group . . . Jon Lester and Josh Beckett are both top starter talents and Alfredo Aceves could be a strong No. 5 . . . " He gives no real reason for putting the Yankees third, but apparently doesn't think the dual acquisition of Hiroki Kuroda and Michael Pineda is as big a deal as our friends to the south seem to think. (Especially in light of Pineda's velocity problems this spring.)
In many ways this has the spring of our discontent, with an inordinate focus on last year's collapse and apologies not given and Bobby's big mouth and other ancillary issues. But this piece serves as a reminder that the Sox are still, you know, pretty good . . . even if there are folks around here who don't necessarily believe it.
See the whole story here.

Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

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Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth career grand slam to help Rick Porcello get his major league-leading 22nd win, and the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.

The win secures them a spot in the postseason

Pedroia stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth and gave Boston a 6-3 lead with a seventh-inning drive off Danny Farquhar.

Porcello (22-4) gave up three runs, eight hits and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings. He just missed getting his 12th consecutive start of seven or more innings and three runs or fewer, which would have moved him past Cy Young (1904) and Pedro Martinez (2000) for the longest stretch during the same season in franchise history.

Craig Kimbrel, the fifth Boston reliever, reached 30 saves for the sixth straight season despite allowing Logan Forsythe's solo homer in the ninth.

Brad Miller hit a two-run double in a three-run second that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 and gave him 80 RBIs.

Tampa Bay threatened in the second but failed to score due to two nice defensive plays. Pedroia made a throw from just in front of the outfield grass at second base on Mikie Mahtook's grounder to get Corey Dickerson at the plate. Third baseman Brock Holt made a solid play along the line on Alexei Ramirez's grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning.