A Weekend of Opportunity

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A Weekend of Opportunity

This weekend at Fenway, the Red Sox host to the last place Toronto Blue Jays.

Of course, that the Jays are in last place at this stage of the season means next to nothing especially since they're only two and a half games behind Boston but after a rough few months, it's nice that we can refer to another team being in last place. Go ahead. Give a try.

The last place Toronto Blue Jays!

See? A lot of fun.

But to be honest, last place is the least of Toronto's problems right now. In the last month, they've lost two starting pitchers: Brandon Morrow (until August) and Kyle Drabek (for the season). In the last week, they've lost third baseman (and the owner of one of the dumbest tattoos in baseball) Brett Lawrie to a calf injury and slugger Jose Bautista to a wrist injury.

So, what do you think? Is this when the Sox finally get over the hump? Will they feast on the broken Jays and finally leave .500 in their dust, or will we reconvene on Monday, having the same tired conversation?

They're inconsistent! They're average! Trade the whole team! Bring up everyone from Pawtucket!

Man, I hope not. Not sure if I can play that game anymore. I'm sick of drama. I'm ready for baseball. We all are. We all love what this team has given us since the All-Star Break, but it's only natural to demand more. It's almost August. Nearly everyone's healthy. Excuses are over, and it's time to win.

And wouldn't you know, there are two guys in that clubhouse who currently find themselves in prime position to take Boston to the next level.

Josh Beckett, who has one win since May, will be on the mound tonight. Jon Lester, who hasn't won all month, takes the bump on Sunday. With everything clicking around them, the Sox two embattled starters are poised to both reaffirm their dominance and keep the Sox rolling.

And what better target than the last place Blue Jays.

Yup. That phrase still sounds much better in front of another team's name.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

Red Sox score 7 in 7th to beat Rangers 9-4

BOSTON (AP)  Dustin Pedroia waved home the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch, then singled in two more during Boston's seven-run seventh inning on Wednesday night and the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 9-4 for their third straight victory.

Chris Sale (5-2) struck out six, falling short in his attempt to become the first pitcher in baseball's modern era to strike out at least 10 batters in nine straight games in one season. He allowed three earned runs, six hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings and received more runs of support in the seventh inning alone than in any previous game this season.

Sam Dyson (1-5) faced seven batters in relief of Martin Perez and gave up four hits, three walks - two intentional - and a wild pitch without retiring a batter. Mike Napoli homered for Texas, which has lost three of four to follow a 10-game winning streak.

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

David Price dodges media after 2nd rough rehab start

If only David Price could pitch as well as he dodges the media.

The Red Sox lefty bailed on a typical post-start media session with reporters in Pawtucket on Wednesday, after his second minor league rehab outing in Triple-A was another dud.

As Price comes back from a nondescript elbow injury, difficulty retiring minor league hitters doesn't combine well with difficulty facing questions. He sat in the mid-90s in his second rehab start with Pawtucket, but allowed six runs, three earned, in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

The PawSox were at home at McCoy Stadium against Triple-A Louisville, a Reds affiliate, and Price heard some heckling. Postgame, he wanted to hear nothing, apparently.

Per CSNNE’s Bill Messina, who was on site in Pawtucket, the media was waiting outside the clubhouse for Price, as is standard. 

PawSox media relations told the media to go to the weight room, where Price would meet them. As media headed that way, PR alerted reporters that Price was leaving and did not want to talk. Media saw a car leaving, but there was no interview.

On the mound, Price’s velocity is there, but the command is not. The Red Sox would be unwise to bring back Price before really two more minor league starts — one to show he can do well, another to show he can repeat it.

Price’s ERA in two starts for Pawtucket is 9.53. He’s gone 5 2/3 innings and allowed six earned runs, while striking out eight and walking two overall.