Sox shrug off rain, Athletics, 9-3

191542.jpg

Sox shrug off rain, Athletics, 9-3

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON The Red Sox and As played just seven innings of their hurricane-induced doubleheader before rain delayed play. They resumed play just long enough for the Sox to take a 9-3 win.

Jon Lester earned the victory, improving to 14-6, with a 3.09 ERA. He went six innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He also improved his career record against Oakland to 3-3. The As were one of just two American League teams (with the Twins) against which Lester had a losing record.

The Sox put runs on the board in each of the first five innings, including three runs in the second and third innings. Jason Varitek, who had a two-run homer in the second and an RBI single in the fifth, fell one RBI short of his season high, which he set with four in Toronto on June 11.

David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Guillermo Moscoso took the loss for the As, falling to 6-8 with a 3.80 ERA.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jon Lester
Lester went six innings, before a 45-minute rain delay at the start of the seventh inning, the first of two delays before the game was called. He gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks with four strikeouts, and one home run to Brandon Allen. It was Lesters third consecutive win. He has given up just three hits in each, while going seven, six, and six innings, respectively. With the win, Lester improved his career record against Oakland to 3-3. The As were one of just two American League teams (with the Twins) against which Lester had a losing record.

HONORABLE MENTION: Jason Varitek
Varitek went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI. In the three-run second inning, he hit his ninth home run of the season, a two-out, two-run shot into the Sox bullpen, scoring Josh Reddick, who had walked. Varitek added an RBI single. His three RBI are one short of his season-high four, which he recorded on June 11 in Toronto.

THE GOAT: Guillermo Moscoso
The As right-hander lasted just four innings, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits and two walks, with no strikeouts, and one home run. He allowed the Sox to score in each of his four innings, including three runs in the second and third. After the As tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the second, Moscoso allowed the Sox three runs in the bottom of the inning, all with two outs, giving his team a whole it couldnt escape. The outing is his shortest of the season.

THE TURNING POINT
With the score tied, 1-1, entering the home half of the second inning, the Sox scored three runs, creating an insurmountable deficit for the As. With two outs, Josh Reddick walked before Jason Variteks ninth home run of the season, into the Sox bullpen. Mike Aviles singled and scored on Jacoby Ellsburys double.
BY THE NUMBERS: 1
The Sox win, combined with a hurricane-induced off-day for the Yankees, the Sox take a 1 -game lead over the Yankees heading into their three-game set beginning Tuesday at Fenway.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
I dont think theres any way we would do anything different in the first game. I mean, if we have a chance to win a game, youre going to see Bard and Pap. I dont care if its snowing. Thats whats going to happen. If were losing well try tono, theres no reason to try to do anything different. If were losing, you try to stay away from the guys you want to pitch when you're winning. -- Terry Francona on his approach to managing a doubleheader with impending weather issues

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Red Sox secure playoff with 6-4 win over Rays

red_sox_pedroia_092416.jpg

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 Boston Red Sox clinched a playoff berth by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.

Boston maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the division title and ensured no worse than the AL's second wild card. While the Red Sox technically have a magic number of one, the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles play each other three times in the season's final week - meaning only one of them can win match Boston's 91 wins.

Among the other wild-card contenders, only Detroit can reach 91 victories.

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.

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

pablo-sandoval-4-2015.jpg

Farrell: Sandoval could possibly return to Red Sox for postseason

Thought to be lost for the season after shoulder surgery this past spring, Pablo Sandoval could possibly return to the Red Sox for the postseason, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Saturday.

Sandoval joined the team in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox are playing the Tampa Bay Rays. Farrell said Sandoval had played in instructional league games in Florida and was "well ahead of schedule."

He could be an option to be activated if another player is injured. 

“One of the things I put in my mind that I have to work,” Sandoval told Boston Herald. “I learned a lot of things about this surgery so I had to work hard to be on the field as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things I’ve been doing, working out, doing things so I can get better and better everyday.”

Sandoval, 30, is in the second year of a five-year, $95 contract. He lost his starting third base job to Travis Shaw in spring training and in April an MRI revealed he needed surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder, which was to have ended his season.

He appeared in only three games this season and hit .245 with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 126 games in 2015.