They are 43-52. If the season ended now, the Boston Red Sox would finish last in the American League East and have the 8th overall draft pick next year.
Or Boston could go on an improbable run – say 47-20 over their remaining games – and win one of baseball’s most flawed divisions this year. The Red Sox obviously hope for that scenario.
Toronto 49-47 (4 back)
New York 47-47 (5)
Tampa Bay 44-53 (9.5)
Boston 43-52 (9.5)
A healthy Shane Victorino would help the Red Sox, and he looked on the mend Thursday in Pawtucket, playing all nine innings in right field, going 2-for-4.
Clay Buchholz (4-5, 5.42) can also help the cause if he pitches like his last time out (a 3-hit shutout). He faces Kansas City tonight and James Shield (9-5, 3.65).
Chris Hernandez got the start for Pawtucket (originally-scheduled Steven Wright is going tonight) and went five innings: 5 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K. His ERA is 3.36 … Alex Hassan (.284) was 2-for-3 with his fifth home run … Travis Shaw (.275) also was 2-for-3, with a double.
The Sea Dogs lost 3-2. Luis Diaz (2.63) did not get a decision: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K.
For a look at the Sea Dogs’ first half in photos, see our gallery.