Boston found yet another way to lose a ballgame Monday evening, squandering their one-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays with a 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. This marks their 17th failure in 22 games, creating a giant sucking sound out of Beantown.
Josh Beckett started for Boston and ended up surrendering seven runs on six hits over six innings, losing to the Orioles for the second time in less than a week. Ouch. An attempted rally in the eighth was thwarted when the Red Sox loaded the bases with one out, missing the opportunity when Pedro Strop struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia (who was hit in the throat with a foul ball in the bottom half of the inning) and retired Marco Scutaro on a grounder to end the threat.
The Red Sox must win their final two games, and at worst, back into the postseason by winning a one-game playoff against the Rays. That would be the most exciting scenario, of course, but either way they control their own destiny. Former Oriole Erik Bedard will face his old team Tuesday night against rookie left-hander Zach Britton, who has a career 10.80 ERA against the Red Sox over two games this season. Looking good for Boston.
Mark Teixeira Deal Done
One of the prospects is lefty Matt Harrison, who has experienced some recent shoulder discomfort. He is 5-7 with a 3.39 ERA and 78 strikeouts for the AA Mississippi Braves this season.
Teixeira joins badass third baseman Chipper Jones as an additional switch-hitter to the already potent Braves order, which will surely help the club climb from fifth in the NL in runs scored. Tex is batting a steady .297 with 13 homers and 49 RBIs this season.
The 22-year-old Saltalamacchia could be just what the Rangers have been looking for with the option of putting him at first, as well. Salty is hitting .284 with 4 longballs and 12 RBIs in 47 games with the Braves this season.
Don't forget about the veteran Mahay, who was 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA and 1 save in 28 relief appearances for the Rangers.