Amazing what another clutch David Ortiz home run will do for the mood. His three-run homer in the ninth gave Boston a 5-3 win over Detroit (Ortiz's 16th game-deciding home run in the ninth inning or later, if you're counting).
Mike Napoli also homered in his first game back from the DL. Napoli bats behind Ortiz, offering much needed protection. Loved the quote from John Farrell about the Tigers pitching to Ortiz with two runners on. "They wouldn't have thrown one near the strike zone if that dude (Napoli) wasn't standing on deck."
Boston even picked up a game on the first place Blue Jays.
Now for the sobering numbers: Boston is still nine back, and sit 28-34. That means, with 100 games to go, the Red Sox need to win 62 games just to reach 90 wins.
No AL team is currently playing at a .620 clip (OK, Oakland is close at .619, but you get the point).
The Red Sox send Jake Peavy (1-3, 4.72) to the mound tonight in Baltimore (and Bud Norris 4-5, 4.41).
We have talked often about Boston's starting pitching depth in the minors. Chris Hernandez is fighting to get back into the mix. The lefty, who was an All-Star with Portland, has been sent to the bullpen in Pawtucket. But he got a start Sunday and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. His final line: 7 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K. Hernandez has a 3.16 ERA - 2.88 as a starter.
Mookie Betts (.292, .414 OBP) was 1-for-3 with a walk.
The Sea Dogs won with Derrik Gibson's walk-off single. Gibson (.295), Deven Marrero (.265) and Sean Coyle (.347) all had two hits, Coyle his fourth home run ... catcher Blake Swihart threw out a base-stealer, improving his percentage to .514 (18-of-35).
Salem took a 7-0 lead in the top of the first at Lynchburg - and lost 12-11. Starter Corey Littrell did not make it out of the fourth inning (9 H, 6 R), and Lynchburg scored three in three in the bottom of the ninth.