Sunday, July 02, 2006

The Beat Goes On

The streak stands at 2, after the Sox again dispatched the Marlins, this time winning 4-3 on a late sacrifice fly from soon-to-be-All-Star-2B Mark Loretta. Sox are now 50-29 on the season - their best start since, ahem, 1986 - they've won 14 of their last 15, and they've got a 4 1/2 game lead on the Yankees, who are playing the Mets tonight in the Bronx.

Jon Lester started this one and struggled, but again showed that he has the poise and mettle to get out of tough jams. Papelbon came on in the 8th and got the last four outs for his 25th save - breaking the rookie record set by the original "Monster," Dick Radatz, in 1962. Youkilis, Varitek and Papi all hit solo homers.

Sox now head up the interstate to Tampa-St. Pete to tangle with those pesky Devil Rays for four big action-packed games. From there, it's on to Chicago for what should be a good series against the White Sox next weekend. Maybe exact a little revenge for last year's ALDS white-washing. And then, believe it or not, we're at the All-Star break. Sox could conceivably place six guys on the AL team: Manny, Ortiz, Papelbon, Schilling, Loretta, and Varitek. Rumor has it Loretta's going to make the team because of Robinson Cano's injury.

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