MARATHON SUNDAY: Boston concluded its 1st series following the break with a 1-0 win at Tampa Bay in 16 innings last night…The Red Sox have won 12 of their last 14 games since 6/30.
The game’s only run came on a 2-out RBI single by Dustin Pedroia in the top of the 16th inning…A 17-inning tie against the St. Louis Browns on 7/14/16 was the only other Red Sox game ever to go scoreless longer.
The Red Sox out-hit the Rays 5-3 in the game…According to Elias, the clubs’ 8 combined hits were the lowest total in any Major League game of 14 or more innings in the live ball era, a total of 1,349 such games since 1920…Boston became the 1st team since 1919 to hold an opponent to 3 hits or less in a game lasting at least 16 innings.
At 5 hours and 44 minutes, it was the longest Red Sox game in time and innings since a 6-5 loss in 19-innings at the White Sox on 7/9/2006, which lasted 6 hours and 19 minutes.
Starter Josh Beckett went 8.0 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 base runner on an infield single to Evan Longoria with 2 out in the 1st inning…It was Beckett’s 2nd straight scoreless start with only 1 base runner allowed against the Rays (also 9.0 IP on 6/15 at TB), making him just the 2nd pitcher in the live ball era (since 1920) with consecutive starts against an opponent in which he went at least 8.0 innings and allowed no more than 1 combined hit and walk in each…The other was Dodgers pitcher Dazzy Vance on 9/8 and 9/15 against the Phillies in 1925 (Source: Elias).
6 Boston pitchers combined in the shutout…Since 1920, the only other time the Sox used at least 6 hurlers in a 1-0 win was 10/3/99 at Baltimore with 8 pitchers appearing in that game.
LEADERBOARD: The Red Sox own the best record in the AL at 57-36 (.613), 2nd in the Majors behind Philadelphia (59-35, .628)…The Red Sox are a Major League-best 57-30 (.655) since picking up their 1st win of 2011 on 4/8…Boston lost 6 straight games to begin the year, the club’s longest season-opening slide since 1945 (0-8).
JULY HEAT: At 11-2 (.846), the Sox have the 2nd-best July record in the Majors behind Texas (12-2, .857)…Sox batters lead the Majors during the month in homers (24), walks (66) and OBP (.369), rank 2nd in runs per game (6.38), RBI (80), SLG (.515), OPS (.884), extra-base hits (60) and total bases (238) and are 3rd in runs scored (83).
FIRST PLACE: Boston leads the AL East by 1.5 games over New York for the 4th straight day, its largest lead in the division since it was also 1.5 games up after a win on 6/20…The club has been tied or in the lead in the division on 30 days since tying for 1st after a win on 5/26.
ON THE ROAD: The Red Sox continue a 6-game road trip with the 1st of 3 tilts at Baltimore tonight after taking 2 of 3 from Tampa Bay to begin the trek…Boston has won each of its last 5 road trips after going 0-6 in its season-opening jaunt and is a Major League-best 29-19 (.604) away from home this year.
GOING DEEP: The Sox have hit 62 homers on the road this year, the most in the Majors…The club’s 114 homers overall are 3rd in the ML behind the Yankees (125) and Rangers (118). Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia each knocked their 13th homers Saturday…The Red Sox are the only Major League team this year that has 5 players with at least 13 roundtrippers (also David Ortiz, 19; Adrian Gonzalez, 17; and Kevin Youkilis, 13).
VS. THE O’S: Boston begins its 4th series against Baltimore this year and 2nd at Camden Yards…After the current set, the Sox and O’s face off 7 more times in 2011, all in September…They meet up in Boston from 9/19-21 (4 games) and in Baltimore from 9/26-28.
The Sox have won 6 of 8 matchups against the Orioles thus far in 2011, including each of their last 6 contests…It is Boston’s longest win streak vs. the O’s since a 10-gamer, 7/31/09-4/24/10.
Boston has taken 9 of its last 13 against the Orioles and is 13-7 in its last 20 contests against the club…The Sox have won 43 of their last 60 games (.717) against Baltimore since 5/30/08.
Boston has 510 victories against the Orioles since the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954, the club’s most wins against any team in that span and the 2nd-most ever vs. the O’s (NYY, 516).
ACE IN RELIEF: Alfredo Aceves improved to 19-2 in his career with 3.0 scoreless and hitless frames last night over the 13th-15th innings…He has won each of his last 14 relief decisions dating back to 6/7/09, the longest relief winning streak in the Majors since Frank DiPino won 14 consecutive decisions out of the bullpen from 7/22/88-6/6/91 with CHC and STL…It is the longest relief win streak in the AL since Sandy Consuegra 18-gamer, 7/1/52-6/1/55 with WSH and CWS.
MUDDY CHICKEN: Dustin Pedroia tallied 3 of Boston’s 5 hits last night and has hit safely in a season-high 15 straight games since 6/29, the longest active hit streak in the AL…It is Pedroia’s longest since a 16-gamer, 9/7-24/09, 2 shy of a career-long 17-game run, 6/22-7/9…Pedroia is batting .385 (25-for-65) with 5 doubles, 7 homers, 13 RBI, 17 runs and 8 walks over the streak.
Pedroia has reached base safely in each of his last 27 games since 6/15, the 2nd-longest on-base stretch of his career behind a 29-gamer, 6/22-7/27/08, and the longest current streak in the Majors…He is hitting .373 (41-for-110) with 19 walks in that time.
He has hit 6 home runs over his last 9 games…Pedroia’s 6 homers in a July are tied for his most ever in a single month, also August 2008 and April 2010, and are the most by a Red Sox 2nd baseman in July since Felix Mantilla hit 10 in July 1964.
BARD’S TALE: Daniel Bard has held opponents scoreless in 21.2 innings over his last 20 games dating back to 5/27…It is the longest active streak in the Majors and longest by a Boston pitcher this season…Bard’s is the longest for a Sox reliever in a single season since Jonathan Papelbon’s 22.0-inning streak, 5/4-6/26/06…Manny Delcarmen had a 21.2 inning stretch, 9/9/08-4/25/09.
According to Elias, Bard’s 20 straight scoreless outings match the all-time club record, previously accomplished by Ugueth Urbina from 4/26-6/26/2002.
Bard leads the AL and ranks 2nd in the Majors with 22 holds this season.
LEAGUE LEADERS: Red Sox batters lead the Majors in AVG (.274), runs (498), RBI (481), doubles (199), extra-base hits (334), walks (363), OBP (.351) and SLG (.453). Adrian Gonzalez leads the Majors with 77 RBI, 129 hits, 215 total bases, 29 doubles and 49 extra-base hits…He totaled a Red Sox-record 128 hits before the break (since 1933).
SIX SENSE: Prior to last night’s 1-0 win, Boston had scored 47 runs with 18 homers over its previous 6 games, 7/7-16…According to Elias, the Red Sox equaled both of those totals in only 1 other 6-game stretch in team history, with 48 runs and 24 homers in 6 games, 6/17-22/1977.