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Monday, July 12, 2010

All-Star break? Uh yes please

The 2010 All-Star break couldn't come at a better time for the Boston Red Sox. They currently have 11 players on the disabled list (including Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Varitek, Jeremy Hermida, etc) and they all need a few days of rest.

Boston (51-37) ended the unofficial first half on a high note as they beat Toronto (44-45) 3-2 yesterday afternoon at the Rogers Centre.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (6-3) took advantage of some crazy shadows with the roof partially open and went six solid innings. He allowed two earned runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

Marco Scutaro, David Ortiz and Darnell McDonald provided all the offense for the Sox. After Scutaro doubled in the sixth, McDonald drove him in with a two-run bomb. Ortiz followed that with a solo homer, Boston's second back-to-back homers of the series.

Aaron Hill hit a two-run homer in the seventh to pull the Blue Jays within one but Daniel Bard (2 scoreless innings, 1 hit, 1 strikeout) and Jonathan Papelbon (1 inning, 1 hit) combined to shut the door in the last three innings.

Papelbon picked up his 20th save.

The news wasn't all good as Adrian Beltre left the game with a strained hamstring. There are reports today that he'll miss the All-Star game tomorrow night (his first) but we'll have to wait and see I guess.

Through 88 games, the Red Sox have to be considered a huge success to be only three games behind Tampa Bay (the Wild Card leader) and five games behind the Yankees, who have the best record in baseball. It is also without a doubt, the best mangering job of Terry Francona's career so far. There's been so many lineup changes and a constant carousel of minor league players coming up and Tito has done a superb job of pulling all the right strings.

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