Cumberland Times-News

Baseball

October 4, 2013

Red Sox ready for playoffs after 4-day layoff

Will host road warriors today in opener

(Continued)

“It’s just a second All-Star break for us,” Gomes said after a nearly two-hour team workout Thursday.
The Rays finished six games behind the Red Sox in the AL East but are on a roll with 10 wins in their last 12 games. And they have star left-handers Matt Moore and David Price ready to go in the first two games at Fenway Park.
Moore (17-4) is 9-1 in his last 13 starts. Price (10-8) is coming off a 5-2, complete-game win against the Rangers in the tiebreaker. In a span of eight days in late July, they combined to go 3-0 against the Red Sox in Boston with each pitching a complete game.
More bad news for the Red Sox: the Rays are 14-2 on the road when Moore starts.
“For me going into a game on the road, I try to take that as a little bit more of a challenge than when you’re at home” with support from the crowd, Moore said. “There’s nothing better than winning on the road in an environment like this.”
The Red Sox have a pretty good left-hander themselves set for the opener. Jon Lester (15-8) was 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA in his last eight starts and 7-2 with a 2.57 ERA since the All-Star break.
“To be named Game 1 starter, especially after last year,” Lester said, “big honor, obviously, very excited.”
Lester had his worst season in 2012 with a 9-14 record and 4.82 ERA. Even worse was the team’s 69-93 record and clubhouse discord under Bobby Valentine, who was fired after his only season as Boston’s manager. He took over from Terry Francona after Boston went 7-20 the previous September.
“Last year was just horrendous all the way around,” Lester said.
And this year?
No losing streak longer than three games. A total of 158 days in first place. And a lineup with no easy outs.

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