SOX LATELY: The Red Sox were shut out 4-0 in Texas last night, the 9th time this year they have not scored in a game, but only the 2nd time since the beginning of July (also, 8/17 vs. TB)…The Sox have dropped 7 of their last 12 games overall, but have won 9 of their last 16 contests, 19 of their last 32, 22 of 37 since the All-Star break and 32 of 48 since 6/30, outscoring opponents 260-199 in that time.
The Red Sox took 3 of 4 games in Kansas City over the weekend and have now won or split 12 of their 14 series since the beginning of July, including wins in 10 of those sets.
ON THE RECORD: At 77-50 (.606), the Red Sox own the 2nd-best record in the AL after the Yankees (77-48, .616) and 3rd-best record in the Majors, also trailing Philadelphia (82-44, .651).
Boston is an American League-best 77-44 (.636) since picking up its 1st win of 2011 on 4/8, 2nd in the Majors in that time behind the Phillies (77-43, .642)…The Sox lost 6 straight games to begin the year, the club’s longest season-opening slide since 1945 (0-8).
The Sox 77 wins mark the club’s most through the 1st 127 games of a season since 1995 (77).
IN THE STANDINGS: Boston is in 2nd place in the AL East, 1.0 game behind New York who was idol
last night…The club lost its share of the division lead after a loss in Game 2 on 8/16, falling to 2nd place
for the 1st time since the conclusion of play on 8/5…Overall in 2011, the Red Sox have been tied or in the lead in the division on 55 total days since tying for 1st on 5/26.
The Sox have a 7.5-game lead over the Rays in the AL Wild Card race.
LONG ROAD: Tonight’s game is the Red Sox 15th in a stretch in which they play 14 of 17 contests on the road from 8/8-25, going 7-7 thus far…The club is playing the 2nd of 4 tilts in Texas after taking 3
of 4 in Kansas City to begin the current 8-day, 8-game trip…Following the set in Texas, Boston
returns home for a 10-day, 9-game homestand over which they will host the A’s (8/26-28),
Yankees (8/30-9/1) and Rangers (9/2-4).
Boston went 3-3 on its last trip to Minnesota and Seattle, snapping a stretch of 7 straight winning
road trips…The Sox had a winning record in each of their previous 7 trips after going 0-6 in their
season-opening jaunt, the 1st time in club history they won 7 straight road trips within a season
(Elias)…Boston has a ML-best 39-20 road mark (.661) since that stretch began on 4/19.
The Sox 39-26 mark (.600) away from home overall this year is 3rd in the Majors behind
the Yankees and Phillies (both 37-24, .607).
ROAD WARRIORS: The Sox have hit a Major League-high 84 homers on the road this year, 5 more
than the next-best team (STL, 79)…Boston sluggers have combined for 35 roundtrippers in their
last 24 contests away from home.
Sox batters have drawn a ML-high 254 walks on the road, and pace AL road leaders with 325 runs and
311 RBI…Adrian Gonzalez has hit .324 (85-for-262) on the road, 3rd among AL leaders.
VS. THE RANGERS: Boston is playing the 2nd tilt of a 4-game set in Texas, its 2nd series at Rangers
Ballpark this year…The Sox were swept in a 3-game set here to open the season and lost the 1st game
of the current set last night…The 2 clubs have 1 more regular-season series remaining this year, a 3-game set at Fenway Park 9/2-4 The Sox have lost 5 straight to the Rangers dating back to their last match-up vs. Texas in 2010, their longest losing streak vs. Texas since dropping 5 in a row, 7/30/03-5/2/04…The Red Sox last longer losing streak against the Rangers was a 6-gamer from 5/12-7/23/91…Boston
has lost 10 of its last 12 contests against the Rangers overall.
The Red Sox are looking for their 1st series win at Rangers Ballpark since 9/5-7/08 (2-1)…The club has ropped 11 of 13 in Texas since the beginning of 2009.
CLEANING UP: Dustin Pedroia has 16 career starts in the clean-up spot, including 12 this season,
and is 28-for-66 (.424) in his career when starting in the 4-hole with 6 doubles, 5 homers and 14
RBI in those tilts…He’s batting .347 (17-for-49) with 3 doubles, 3 homers and 8 RBI at clean-up
in 2011 with the Sox going 8-4 in those games.
HIT STORIES: The Sox last night were held to 4 hits, all singles, in their 4-0 loss at Rangers Ballpark…According to Elias, it was the 1st time in 30 years that Boston was shut out and held without an extra-base hit in a game at Texas…It last happened on 4/29/81 when Danny Darwin threw a 1-hit shutout vs. the Red Sox, allowing only a single to Rick Miller.
The Red Sox had tallied double-digit hits in each of their previous 3 games before last night and have 64
contests this year with at least 10 hits, tied with the Rangers for the most in the Majors…The Sox 1,231 hits overall on the season are 2nd in the Majors behind Texas (1,246).
The Sox lead the Majors with 439 extra-base hits overall, 6 more than Texas (433) who is 2nd.
SAVINGS ACCOUNT: Jonathan Papelbon ranks 4th in the AL with 29 saves…He has converted each of his last 24 save chances since 5/13, the longest stretch of his career and the 2nd-longest save
streak in the American League this year behind Detroit’s Jose Valverde, who has converted each of
his 37 chances thus far.
Papelbon has thrown 14.0 scoreless frames over his last 14 games, allowing just 3 base runners
(all singles) with 15 strikeouts in that stretch, while going 2-0 with 9 saves in that time…The
14.0 innings is the longest active scoreless streak in the AL and this is his longest scoreless
game and inning stretch since a 16-game, 15.2 IP run from 8/1-9/12/07.
He is 1 save shy of reaching the 30-save plateau for the 6th straight year…He would become the 1st pitcher ever to record 30 or more saves in each of his 1st 6 full ML seasons (2006-11).
HOLD ‘EM: Daniel Bard recorded his AL leading 30th hold with 2.0 perfect frames of work with 3 strikeouts Sunday at Kansas City…His 30 holds are the 2nd-most in the Majors behind only Washington’s Tyler Clippard’s 32…Bard is 2 holds shy of tying his club mark (since the stat was tracked
in 1969) of 32 that he established last season.
TRIPLE TIME: Jason Varitek notched an RBI-triple in the Sox win Sunday in KC…It marked his 14th career triple and 1st since 6/24/07 at SD…At 39 years, 132 days old, he is the oldest catcher to record a 3-bagger since Benito Santiago at 40/26 with Pittsburgh on 4/4/05 vs. MIL…Since 1983, the only other Sox to triple at 39 or older was Rickey Henderson, 5/27/02 at TOR (43/153).
WILLIAMS OUTRIGHTED TO PAWTUCKET: LHP Randy Williams, who was designated for assignment last Thursday (8/18), was today outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket.