The Boston Red Sox are aware of how little wiggle room there is in the competitive AL East, especially as they try to stay ahead of the Yankees for first place.
“We’ve been playing good ball. We just have to keep it rolling. We don’t have that big of a lead in the division, so we have to play good baseball,” Dustin Pedroia said Sunday after the Red Sox
wrapped up one of the best months of July in team history by beating the Chicago White Sox 5-3.
The Red Sox (66-40) finished July 20-6, a .769 winning percentage that beats their previous franchise record for the month _ .741 (20-7) set in 1993.
Pedroia, whose 25-game hitting streak was snapped in Friday night’s opener won by the White Sox, had a two-run, go-ahead single in the seventh Sunday. And the Red Sox bullpen was stellar with 3 1-3 innings of one-hit relief.
“I’m excited to hit with guys on base, I was just trying to drive the ball to the outfield to get one run, so I was lucky we got two,” Pedroia said after the Red Sox won 2 of 3 at U.S. Cellular Field.
Jason Varitek had a two-run homer and the relief trio of Alfredo Aceves (7-1), Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon shut the White Sox out after they’d taken a 3-2 lead in the fourth.
Boston, which added utility infielder Mike Aviles in a trade from Kansas City on Saturday, bolstered its starting staff by acquiring lefty Erik Bedard from the Mariners in a three-team deal Sunday. The Red Sox’s rotation has been missing injured Clay Buchholz.
“We’ve had some injuries on our pitching staff, so we need a guy to come in here and help. Hopefully he does a great job for us. We’re excited to have him. It’s going to be a fun rest of the season.”
Chicago starter Mark Buehrle pitched six innings, giving up five hits and two runs, both coming on Varitek’s seventh homer in the second. The lefty departed with a with a 3-2 lead. But the White Sox couldn’t add on and had 12 runners left on base.