Even with last night’s lopsided, 8-2 loss, the Red Sox have outscored their opponents 69-33 over their past 10 games.
Dampened, perhaps, by the long rain delay on a getaway night Wednesday, the Sox missed a chance to become the first team to sweep a season set of 3+ games against the Rangers since they moved from Washington, DC to Texas in 1972. Boston swept Texas at Fenway May 23-25 and, barring a post-season appearance, won’t see the Rangers again until 2018.
The Sox move on to Tampa Bay for four more games before the All-Star break.
Now, some other news and notes particularly of interest to Red Sox fans:
- Happy 23rd birthday today to Andrew Benintendi. Over parts of two seasons, the still-rookie has slashed .289 AVG/.362 OBP/.466 SLG in 112 games. His .828 OPS is third best (and tied with Babe Ruth) among Red Sox aged 22 or younger (minimum 350 at-bats). Only better were Ted Williams (1.114) and Tony Conigliaro (.849).
- Congratulations to Cubs pitchers (and former Red Sox favorite) Jon Lester and his wife, Farrah, who raised more than $600,000 at their NVQT fundraiser this week. The money will go toward pediatric cancer research. Lester is 5-5 with a 3.94 ERA over 18 starts so far this season. We’re only at the halfway mark, of course, but Lester hasn’t had a full-season ERA that high since 2012 (4.82). Teammate, and also on-time Boston pitcher, John Lackey, is headed to the 10-day DL this week with plantar faciitis. Lackey has had a tough 2017, sitting at 5-9, 5.20 ERA over 17 starts.
- Joe West will be the crew chief for the 2017 All-Star Game. Last month West became just the third umpire in history to work a 5,000th career game. USA Today spotlighted the occasion with some interesting anecdotes, including one about our 2004 Red Sox. West worked the Midsummer Classic in 1987 and 2005.
- Long-time umpire Angel Hernandez has been assigned to the 2017 All-Star Game, too. Hernandez, a 25-year MLB veteran, recently filed suit against Major League Baseball alleging racial discrimination (of the 92 big-league umpires on the official roster, 82 are white) and specifically cites MLB Chief Baseball Officer, Joe Torre for discriminatory practices. Hernandez says Torre’s issues with him date back to 2001, when Torre managed the Yankees.
- One last note related to the All-Star Game. Thoughts are with everyone’s favorite manager, Terry Francona. The Indians skipper is scheduled to manage the American League at the Midsummer Classic, though he’s presently undergoing tests to determine the cause of his recent lightheadedness. Francona, 58, was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday. It’s his third hospital stay in the past month. Old friend Brad Mills is managing the Indians for the time being.
- Athletes like Gene Conley are a rare breed, indeed. The one-time Red Sox (1961-63) helped pitch the Milwaukee Braves to a World Series championship in 1957 and also won three NBA titles with the Boston Celtics. Conley, a three-time MLB All-Star, died this week at age 86.