It’s simple math.
Over this last stretch of the regular season, the Boston Red Sox must win enough games to edge the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in the race for the American League’s top Wild Card position.
They again controlled what they could Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles, winning 9-3 for their fourth-straight victory.
“I mean, we all know where we are, you know?” Xander Bogaerts said over Zoom after the game. “We all know we just got to continue to go out there and win games. We can win with a walk-off homer, or a team botches the ball in the bottom of the ninth, you win it on a walk-off error. It doesn’t matter at this point, man. It really doesn’t matter how you win it. It’s just that you need to win it.”
He helped them clinch the series against the Orioles, hitting a three-run homer and driving in four runs — including a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
That was after Boston fell to an early three-run deficit.
“That’s when I kind of felt like this is pretty much us in the beginning, and then halfway through the season, you know? We had a rough stretch. We’re past that, and I feel like everyone’s playing their best baseball at the moment.”
The dominant result came by way of great hitting, creative pitching usage and good defense. It’s good enough to maintain their lead for the first American League wild card spot, but Bogaerts noted the difficult stretch they have ahead of them.
After a series finale against Baltimore on Sunday, Boston warms up with the New York Mets at home before hosting the New York Yankees.
“Obviously every team that’s not in it, like these guys, they want to play spoilers,” Bogaerts said. “But we’re playing some teams that are in the playoff contention still after that, you know? Every game matters, especially when we have that big series coming up in a couple of days. Not looking too far ahead, but realistically, this is going to be a big series for us and also for them.”
While the Red Sox stayed in the win column, the Yankees simultaneously lost 11-3 to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday. The Toronto Blue Jays, though, remain a game back of Boston after a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins.