This season, the Red Sox celebrated 100 years at Fenway Park (did you hear about that?), but recently, they've established a dual residence in the basement of the AL East.
Counting today, the Sox have been in last place for 32 straight days. In some ways, it feels like 132, but that's the official count.
Can you guess the last time the Sox have spent that much time in last place?
From May 13-June 16, Jimy Williams, Wil Cordero, Heathcliff Slocumb and the Sox spent 35 days in the basement. The following day (June 17) the Sox beat Terry Francona's Phillies 12-6 at the Vet to climb ahead of the Tigers and into the 4th place in the AL East. Since then almost 15 years this current cellar-dwelling streak is the only one that even approaches what the Sox did in '97. And with the Sox still 2.5 back, with a difficult schedule looming, there's every reason to believe that they'll set a new mark of futility.
What do you say? Can they go 40? 50?
Or maybe they just have to wait for Terry Francona to get another job.
That's what did the trick last time.
Rich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine
CINCINNATI - Mitch Moreland ended his long slump with a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward a second straight AL East title, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Saturday.
Boston has won 13 of 16, holding off the Yankees as it tries to win back-to-back East titles for the first time since divisional realignment in 1969. The Red Sox have their best record of the season at 90-64, reaching 90 wins for the second year in a row.
They remain four games in front of the Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-1.
Moreland was in an 0-for-19 slump when he connected off Robert Stephenson (5-6) in the sixth inning, his 20th homer of the season but only his second in September. The Red Sox are last in the AL with 160 homers.
Rodriguez (6-6) has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts, the best stretch of his career. The left-hander gave up three singles and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since May 21.
The Red Sox have shutout victories in three of their last four games, including two at Baltimore. They are 7-1 on a trip that ends Sunday. Boston wraps up the regular season at Fenway Park with three games against Toronto and four against Houston.
Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grew up in suburban Madeira and had hundreds of relatives and friends in the stands for the series, singled home a run in the seventh at the ballpark where he regularly attended games as a youth.
Mookie Betts, who fouled a ball off his left foot Friday night, and Dustin Pedroia, who has been bothered by a knee injury almost all season, were out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.
Chris Young started in right field for Betts and Brock Holt at second base for Pedroia.
Betts was scratched from the original lineup but was a late scratch. Pedroia, who had been getting intermittent days off to rest his knee was originally expected to play but needed treatement and hopes to be able to play Sunday, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN.
Manager John Farrell told reporters, including Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, that Betts "was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. [He] woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."
The manager added that Betts was available to pinch hit Saturday and did not have X-rays, but that step could be taken if there's no improvement in the next 24 hours.