The Boston Red Sox demolished the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, and it earned them a share of first place in the American League East.
The Toronto Blue Jays lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-5 while the Red Sox cruised to their third straight win in an 11-2 drubbing of the A’s. After those results, the Red Sox and Jays sit dead-even atop the AL East with 76-59 records, with the Baltimore Orioles knocking on the back door just two games behind.
However, the Red Sox don’t want to celebrate just yet.
The Major League Baseball schedule typically loads teams up with division games in September, and that’s no different in 2016. The Red Sox have a full slate of inter-division competition over their last 27 games, including two series each against Baltimore and Toronto.
Starting on Sept. 9, the Red Sox play the Blue Jays in Toronto, have a homestand against the Orioles and the New York Yankees, and go on a road trip against the O’s, Tampa Bay Rays and Yankees before taking on the Jays again at Fenway. If you got all that, it’s pretty obvious the Red Sox still have a lot of work to do. Not to mention, Boston has the fewest home games left out of the top three AL East contenders.
Still, the Red Sox get to play one more game against the A’s on Sunday and play a three-game series against the 56-79 Padres in San Diego to make up some ground before that stretch.
Here are some more notes from Saturday’s win.
— Top prospect Yoan Moncada collected his first major league hit Saturday with an RBI double in the third, and it sounds as though this one is going in the ol’ trophy case.
— The Red Sox reportedly will have a few more call-ups with them Monday in San Diego. They’re adding relievers Heath Hembree and Noe Ramirez and catcher Christian Vazquez to the roster, per MassLive.com’s Jen McCaffrey.
— It’s possible — albeit pretty unlikely — that the Red Sox could wind up with five players with 100 RBIs or more on the season. Mookie Betts joined the 30 home run, 100 RBI club with David Ortiz on Saturday, and Hanley Ramirez is close to the century mark with 88 RBIs. Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are a bit out of reach at 79 and 77, respectively.
Thumbnail photo via Neville E. Guard/USA TODAY Sports Images