Yes, Sunday night featured Mookie Mania as Mookie Betts made his major league debut (1-for-3, BB, run). But the big story in the Red Sox 8-5 win in New York was Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli going a combined 6-for-12 with six RBI and three runs. Ortiz hit his 19th home run.
When those three are going, the Red Sox look like a contender. Boston (38-44) is six games back in both the AL East and Wild Card races (five games back in the loss column in the Al East).
Also starring for the Red Sox was the bullpen (ranked third in the AL with a 2.96 ERA). Badenhop (1.73), Miller (2.53), Tazawa (2.14) and Uehara (1.19) all pitched a scoreless inning.
Now the Cubs come to town. Boston has the scuffling Jake Peavy (1-6, 4.93) against one of Chicago's hottest pitchers, Jake Arrieta (4-1, 2.04 - 3-0 in his last three starts).
Tuesday: Clay Buchholz (3-4, 6.75) vs. Edwin Jackson (5-8, 5.22).
Wednesday: Brandon Workman (1-1, 3.27) vs. Travis Wood (7-6, 4.52).
When the Red Sox sent down Rubby De La Rosa to Triple-A, it seemed unfair since De La Rosa (2.52 ERA) was pitching well. But now that De La Rosa is in Pawtucket, a pitcher will have to be bumped from the rotation.
That presumably will be Chris Hernandez (4-6, 3.31), who pitched another beauty on Sunday. He had a one-hit shutout through six innings before finishing with 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 8 K. Add another starter to the depth in the Red Sox system.
Did you hear about that second baseman who is tearing up the Eastern League? Mookie has moved on, but Sean Coyle (.363) is sizzling. Coyle, who served as the DH Sunday, went 3-for-4 with a double and triple in the Sea Dogs win.
Other Portland hitters: Derrik Gibson (.321) went 2-for-3 with two walks (.408 on-base percentage) ... Matt Spring (.242, 6 HR) hit two home runs ... Keury De La Cruz (.313) was 2-for-5.
The Sea Dogs are now 54-27. Another starting prospect, Luis Diaz (2-0, 1.29) starts tonight for the Sea Dogs in Trenton.
I'll be at Fenway tonight. Follow the tweets: @ClearTheBases