By C. Trent Rosecrans
I have a saying at the blackjack table -- pushing ain't losing. And that's about how the Red Sox feel after splitting a doubleheader with the Orioles while the Rays were idle. It wasn't pretty, that's for sure, but Boston entered Monday with a two-game lead in the American League wild-card standings and finished the day with a two game lead in the wild-card race.
Boston dropped its first game of the day, 6-5 to the Orioles, before rebounding to beat Baltimore 18-9 in the nightcap. Boston starter John Lackey was awful again, allowing eight runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings, but he was better than Baltimore's Brian Matusz, who didn't get out of the second inning, allowing six runs on six hits.
Boston trailed 3-0 after the top of the first, but came back with four in their half of the inning and had an 11-2 lead after three innings. Baltimore got as close as 11-0 before the Red Sox pounded out seven runs in the seventh.
Boston plays Baltimore five more times to try to hold on to their lead.
Here's the rest of the particulars:Boston Red Sox
Remaining schedule: 2 vs. BAL, 3 @ NYY, 3 @ BAL
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 86.1 percent
Tampa Bay Rays
85-67, 2 GB
Remaining schedule: 4 @ NYY, 3 vs. TOR, 3 vs. NYY
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 8.5 percent
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
83-70, 4.5 GB
Remaining schedule: 3 @ TOR, 3 vs. OAK, 3 vs. TEX
Coolstandings.com chances of winning Wild Card: 0.6 percent
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