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AL East: Sox Keep Rolling

John Lackey

John Lackey

In this month of June, where the A. L. East teams are spending it playing each other for the most part, the Boston Red Sox are coming up with the big wins. On Saturday, they pulled out a tight 5-4 win against the Baltimore Orioles. The was the Sox third in five games on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays and Orioles, all by one run. The first game in the series vs the Rays, the Sox got out of a bases loaded, no out jam by getting Evan Longoria to hit into a double play in the 10th before winning in 14 innings. Two days later, after Jon Lester was hit hard the night before, the Rays won 2-1.

Then after losing Friday and getting behind 2-0 on Saturday, the Sox rallied to take a 5-2 lead into the ninth. The O’s rallied for two in the ninth, but it was not enough as Boston hung on. The Sox take on the O’s again on Sunday before going back home to face the Rays in a double header on Tuesday and a single game on Wednesday. With a win on Sunday, Boston will be in position to go home and open up a lead in the East.

They lead the O’s by 2.5, the New York Yankees by 4 and the Rays by 5. The Yanks cannot seem to get healthy. Mark Texeira went down again on Saturday. He’s already missed 53 games this season. Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson have each been hurt on two different occasions as well.

The Rays have their own injury issues. David Price has missed a month so far and it looks like he won’t be back for another two weeks. Alex Cobb was hit in the head with a line drive in Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals. He may be gone for a while. Toronto’s J.A. Happ was hit in the head with a liner in April and has still not returned. With Matt Moore suddenly struggling, starting pitching could become a huge problem in Tampa Bay.

The Orioles seem to be Boston’s main competition right now. They are strong everywhere. Their offense is lethal with Adam Jones, Chris Davis and Matt Weiters leading the way. Manny Machado is on his way to super stardom, both at the plate and at third base. The Birds have some good starting pitching as well with Jason Hammel and Chris Tillman, each with 7 wins. Jim Johnson has been struggling lately to close games out which is a concern.

The Toronto Blue Jays have won seven of their last ten and now trail the Rays by only 4.5 games. If the Jays can get healthy, they could climb back into the race very easily. With Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera and Juan Encarnacion, the Jays are one of the game’s most potent offenses. If they can get Jose Reyes back with some season left, they could make some noise.

Right now, it looks as if Boston has the best all around team in the division with Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia setting the table for David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, and Will Middlebrooks. Boston seems o be able to make the big play, get the big hit, or make the big pitch when they need it.

Our predicted order of finish right now:

1. Boston

2. Baltimore

3. Tampa Bay

4. New York

5. Toronto

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