With AL East ramifications on the line, the Red Sox began a 4 game series North of the boarder in the best way possible. Boston’s offense exploded against Toronto Blue Jays pitching, tallying 14 total runs on 18 hits. The Red Sox began their offensive onslaught in the 2nd inning, when Stephen Drew lined an RBI single into right, and Christian Vazquez drove in a run on an infield single. The next inning, it was Drew again pushing runs across for Boston, as the shortstop drilled a 3-run home run. By the 4th inning, the Red Sox were up by 5 runs, but that didn’t stop David Ortiz from drilling 2 home runs; one in the 4th, and one in the 6th. Mike Napoli also chipped in for for Boston, collecting 3 hits, including a home run and a double. Meanwhile, Red Sox starter John Lackey cruised through 7 innings of work, allowing a single run on just 2 hits while striking out 3. Felix Doubront and Craig Breslow followed Lackey, and preserved the 14-1 victory for the Red Sox.
- If the Jon Lester contract extension talks weren’t in depth enough, another dynamic has joined the conversation. With another dominant start on Sunday, Lester lowered his season ERA to 2.50, holds a 2.39 ERA since the 2013 All-Star break. In turn, Lester hasn’t only been the Red Sox most dominant starters, but one of the MLB’s best arms, therefore the southpaw has planted himself right in the middle of Cy Young Award discussions. (Time to add another element to Jon Lester contract-year conversation)
- With the trade deadline looming, the Red Sox have quickly lowered the white flag that they started to raise 2 weeks ago. Winners of 6 of their last 8, Boston has inventory to deal if they want to shore up their roster in the next few days. But whether their winning ways continue, or the fall back into the depth of the AL East, the Red Sox should be active on July 31st. (Three moves the Red Sox should make)
- On Monday, the Red Sox officially began their make or break road trip with a win over the Toronto Blue Jays. But if Boston wants to climb back into the race, they’ll need to take 3 of 4 games north of the boarder. With the first place Baltimore Orioles on a tough west coast swing, the Red Sox would doubly benefit from both AL East foes losing. (Road trip presents opportunity for Red Sox)
- Throwing a lucrative contract extension at Jon Lester is definitely easier said than done. In the recent past, Boston has been burned by signing high-brow free agents to long-term pacts, and if it wasn’t for the LA Dodgers, the Red Sox would still be financially handcuffed. But with Lester, the Red Sox — more than any other team — know what they’d be buying, and a quick look at the numbers makes it easy to look past any wariness of signing the lefty long term. (Red Sox need to move past fear, extend Jon Lester)
- With his two home runs last night, David Ortiz officially passed Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski for 35th place on the MLB’s all time home run list. Ortiz’ semi-milestone comes on the heels of his “hotter than Jamacia in August” comments. I don’t think Yaz ever used that metaphor. (Ortiz passes Yaz on home run list)
- Tweet of the day: Cliff Lee, ladies and gentleman
Cliff Lee didn't have much to say about trades, but he did end his interview session with an emphatic fart, of which he seemed quite proud.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) July 22, 2014