Former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis returned to Fenway Park on Monday night as a White Sox and proved to be a class act in many ways. When the fans gave him a standing ovation in his first at-bat, he took a nice bow. Then he promptly smacked a single and scored with his patented aggressive plays. Youkilis went 3 for 4 and scored a run that night. But the White Sox lost 5-1.
Hits and Runs
The White Sox were held to 5 hits while the Red Sox hammered 10, including a homer by Adrian Gonzalez who after the game was hitting .288. Gonzalez was 2-4 and knocked in 4 runs. All good news.
Red Sox starter Aaron Cook (2-2) gave up the lone run but did not get the decision. He pitched well over 7 innings and scattering 5 hits, while Vincente Padilla came in to get the win.
The Baltimore Orioles lost, which was great news. It was the begging of a slide that would continue at least the next few days. The Orioles would lose to Minnesota on Tuesday and also Wednesday. Great news for the Red Sox, who would lose on Tuesday but come back on Wednesday behind unlikely ace and stopper Felix Doubront (10-4). Doubront has been the Red Sox most consistent starting pitcher. Wednesday night he scattered 4 hits, gave up 1 run and went 6 innings. His ERA is 4.24.
One Game Out
The Red Sox are now one game out. The Wild Card is a tight race. A lot of teams are in contention. But Boston has a lot of great players coming back and of all the teams in the AL East looking for a Wild Card berth they are probably the best and the deepest. Ortiz is out but Gonzalez, Crawford and Ellsbury are all performing well.
The Yankees continue to win, and I expect the second place team in the AL East will finish about 8 to 11 games behind the Bronx Bombers. The Yanks are a massive team. The question will be can the Yankees sustain themselves through to the end of the season and once they get to the postseason will they have enough gas to get through the playoffs?
That’s a lot of “can theys” that cannot be answered until we get to the postseason. Right now, it’s simply good to be a Boston Red Sox fan and in the race. The two Sox play one more on Thursday.