Extra Bases

The more things change …

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The season is halfway done, 81 games down and 81 to go. The Sox are 49-32, the same record they had last season when they won 95 games.

Terry Francona, who is not much for reflection, passed on discussing now far the team has come this season. The Sox are 45-23 since their April 20, a long way from the 4-9 start that caused panic in the streets that now seems silly.

“I don’t think that we spent one minute thinking about that, [what happened] two months ago. The healthiest way to play is to take care of what you can take of, which is tonight,” he said. “I think that’s the way we always do it. Now we’ll play tomorrow, that’s the best way to do it.”

A few other tibdits for you:

* Jon Lester is 12-0, 2.00 in 15 career starts against the Orioles. The Red Sox are 14-1 in those games. The 12-game streak is the longest active run for one pitcher against any team.

* The All-Star teams will be announced tomorrow and the usually laconic Lester slipped up and almost became animated when asked about the idea. “It would be nice. Never been, would like to go,” he said. “If I end up going, that’s awesome. I’ll be very excited. It’ll be an honor.”

* This game was decided in the first inning when Lester got a double play and squelched a rally. Then when the Orioles failed to turn two in the bottom of the inning, the Sox went on to score four runs. Good teams take care of their business, bad ones leave the door open.

* Daniel Nava has nine extra-base hits and 13 RBIs in his first 17 games. The last Red Sox player to do that was big Sam Horn, who had 12 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs in 1987.

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Alas, Horn had only 13 extra-base hits and 29 RBIs over the next 86 games he played and was released in 1989. Hopefully Nava avoids that fate.

If there’s anybody alive out there on the internet on this holiday weekend, thanks for reading and tune in tomorrow.

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