Ortiz wouldn't be surprised if the Orioles win it all

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Ortiz wouldn't be surprised if the Orioles win it all

BOSTON -- If anybody knows the American League East, it's David Ortiz.

And on Sunday morning, Ortiz sat inside the Red Sox dugout at Fenway Park, looking out at the division standings on the Green Monster. What he saw was his team in last place, and the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles tied for first, with the Tampa Bay Rays two games back.

Ortiz broke it down as best he could, before Sunday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays, and he praised the three teams that are still in the playoff race.

But he singled out the Orioles.

"That's the team that you want to be like," said Ortiz.

Ortiz pointed to starting pitching. In fact, he stressed productive starting pitching as being the reason those teams are playing for something in September.

But he also pointed out that nobody is quite as good as Baltimore in the final month of the regular season.

"They're doing their thing," said Ortiz. "And pretty much the way they're playing right now, that's how they play every September. The difference is, they've been playing like that through the whole year. But September, for some reason -- you know they would play bad during the year -- then in September, for some reason, I don't know what it is, they would be just the hottest team in baseball the past couple years.

"But they've played well the whole year, and now, in September, they're going back to what they normally do . . . I wouldn't be surprised if they get to be the World Champions. They've got what you need to compete in the playoffs."

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Moreland, Travis homer to lead Red Sox past Northeastern 9-6 in opener

Mitch Moreland and Sam Travis hit three-run homers and left-hander Brian Johnson started and pitched two scoreless innings to help the Red Sox win their spring training opener, 9-6, over Northeastern University on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson, who made one spot start in his MLB debut with the Red Sox in 2015 but then was derailed by injuries and anxiety issues last season, struck out three and walked one Thursday. He's expected to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he went 5-6 with a 4.44 ERA in 15 starts in 2016.

Moreland, the left-handed hitting first baseman signed to a one-year deal after spending his first seven seasons with the Texas Rangers, and Travis, a right-handed hitting first base prospect coming back from knee surgery last season, each hit three-run homers in a six-run third inning.

Pablo Sandoval, attempting to reclaim the third-base job after missing nearly all of last season after surgery on his left shoulder, went 1-for-2 with a double. 

The Red Sox open Grapefruit League play Friday afternoon when they host the New York Mets at JetBlue Park. 

Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

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Pedro Martinez talks about one of the greatest games he's ever pitched

CSN baseball analyst Lou Merloni sits down with Pedro Martinez and Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis to discuss one of Pedro's greatest games. 

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On September 10, 1999 at the height of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, Pedro Martinez struck out 17 Yankees in a complete game victory, with the only hit he allowed being a home run to Chili Davis. The two men recall that memorable night in the Bronx, and discuss the state of pitching in 2017.