Red Sox

First Pitch: Wednesday, September 14

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First Pitch: Wednesday, September 14

By ArtMartone
CSNNE.com

Welcome to First Pitch, aquick spin around the world of Major League Baseball . . . or at leastthe corner of it that most concerns the Red Sox. For a complete wrapupof Tuesday's action, check out Craig Calcaterra's AndThatHappened(hardballtalk.nbcsports.com).

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN: Let's face it, you're always going to be smiling after an 18-6 victory (csnne.com), no matter when it happens.

But you'll forgive the Red Sox if their smiles seemed just a little wider last night, since this one a) snapped a five-game losing streak, b) hopefully ended a 10-losses-in-13-games slide and c) came on the same night that the Rays blew a late lead and lost to the woeful Orioles, in a game David Price started, no less (Tampa Tribune), which stopped the bleeding a little in the wild-card race and got their lead back up to four games.

Not only that, but . . .

AT LAST! Tim Wakefield finally won his 200th game, in his eighth attempt. The quest has been so well-chronicled that it needs no recapitulation here, except to relate how happy Wake was to win No. 200 at Fenway. (csnne.com) Still, Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald won't think back to this night when he reflects on the highlight of Wakefield's career; he'll remember a dark October evening in which Wake set the stage for the greatest comeback in sports history.

MORE GOOD NEWS: Josh Beckett is on track to pitch either Thursday or Friday, and Clay Buchholz may actually be healthy enough to throw a side session later this week. (Both stories csnne.com)

SOME BAD NEWS: Kevin Youkilis admits he has a sports hernia that needs surgery, but thinks he can play through it. (csnne.com) Didn't Mike Lowell say that about his degenerative hip condition in 2008 . . . ?

AND SHOCKING NEWS: Bobby Jenks has been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (csnne.com), though the Red Sox are trying to make it sound like it's not that big a deal. Which is hard to believe, because, generally, pulmonary embolisms are very big deals.

WELCOME ABOARD: The Internet was buzzing yesterday morning with rumors that the Red Sox were adding Joey Gathright and Junichi Tazawa to the roster, but they weren't the only ones. (csnne.com)

STOP WORRYING: SI.com's Joe Sheehan says it's unlikely that the Rays will overtake the Red Sox for the wild card.

ANOTHER MILESTONE: Wakefield wasn't the only one stepping into the history books on Tuesday. Mariano Rivera recorded his 600th save (New York Post), one away from the major-league record, as the Yankees beat the Mariners to stay four games ahead of the Sox in the A.L. East race. Even noted Yankee-hater Mike Lupica says there'll never be another Mo. (New York Daily News)

COMING SOON . . . The return of Alex Rodriguez. (New York Post)

LOOKING AHEAD: The Rangers -- a potential playoff opponent -- are thinking of moving Alexi Ogando to the bullpen. (Dallas Morning News)

OLD FRIENDS: Mike Cameron was always thought of as a good teammate -- that was certainly how they felt about him in Boston -- and thus the news that the Marlins released because of unspecified "conduct detrimental to the team" is shocking (Miami Herald) . . . Coco Crisp's MRI came back negative (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com) . . . It's been a good September for David Murphy and a bad one for Justin Masterson. (Both rotoworld.com)

AND FINALLY . . . David Ortiz loves them like brothers, but he hopes his NBA pals aren't able to attend his celebrity golf tournament this December. (csnne.com)

Bogaerts rallies Red Sox to 7-3 win over Rays

Bogaerts rallies Red Sox to 7-3 win over Rays

BOSTON — Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run triple and added a pair of doubles, and the Boston Red Sox scored seven straight runs after allowing three in the first to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 on Friday night.

Jackie Bradley Jr. had two hits, including an RBI double in the sixth, and the Red Sox improved on the best record in the majors with their 87th victory.

Brian Johnson recovered after getting roughed up in the first with three runs on four hits and a walk. Johnson (4-3) didn’t allow another run and pitched 5 2/3 innings before leaving after Joey Wendle’s two-out double in the sixth — Tampa Bay’s first hit since the first inning.

Wendle drove in two runs with a double in the first and Carlos Gomez had an RBI single for the Rays.

Yonny Chirinos (1-5) took over for Ryne Stanek in the second inning and allowed five runs on nine hits over six innings.

Bogaerts pulled Boston within 3-2 on a triple to center in the first, then led off the fourth with a double. Eduardo Nunez drove him in with a single to tie it at 3-all and the Red Sox added another run after Mookie Betts’ leadoff double in the fifth and a one-out single by Mitch Moreland.

Mallex Smith had a pair of hits for the Rays and a made a great catch in the second on a sinking ball hit by Nunez, running it down in shallow right just before crashing hard into the wall with his left hip. Smith held on to the ball despite tumbling into the front row and remained in the game after a quick visit from the trainer.

Bradley answered in the third for Boston when he ran down a long fly near the wall and made a leaping catch just in front of the 379-foot mark for the second out.

Johnson walked Pham with two outs in the first before Cron and Wendle hit consecutive doubles and Gomez singled to drive in Wendle for a 3-0 lead.

Stanek allowed two runs on two hits in the first, his only inning after coming out of the bullpen in the eighth inning Thursday night in the Rays’ win at New York.

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