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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Red Sox may need only bullpen help for second-half run

The Red Sox are exploring the shortstop trade market, but a bullpen arm or two and the Carl Crawford-David Ortiz combo could be enough for Boston.

July 21, 2012|By Phil Rogers
  • David Ortiz is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right Achilles' tendon.
David Ortiz is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right Achilles'… (Al Messerschmidt / Getty…)

Although the Red Sox are among the teams exploring the shortstop market, don't be surprised if they do little other than add a bullpen arm or two before the deadline. Scouts who saw them play the White Sox believe they could be stronger than the Yankees once David Ortiz joins a lineup that has Carl Crawford playing at a level he rarely showed a year ago....

What does Alfonso Soriano have in common with Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Stargell, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Les Bell, Heinie Manush, Jimmie Foxx, Duckie Medwick, Adam LaRoche and Dustin Pedroia? They're the only players to have three or more games with at least four extra-base hits, Soriano's third time coming when he had two doubles and two homers on July 13....

Tacoma Rainiers utility infielder Scott Savastano had himself quite a game Wednesday night. He hit a walk-off homer in the 18th inning and was also the winning pitcher, working a perfect inning of relief after his team ran out of pitchers....

The Yankees are discussing outfielders after losing Brett Gardner for the rest of the season, with Shane Victorino a possibility. You wonder if the Brewers' Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez could be a match. The Cubs will continue trying to interest them in a Soriano reunion....

The Angels are among the teams waiting to see if the Phillies sign or trade Cole Hamels. Their starters just had a 5.35 ERA over a 20-game stretch, with everyone except Jered Weaver a mess. They're about out of patience with Ervin Santana....

Mike Napoli made a mistake not signing a contract extension with Texas last winter. He once again looks like a big lug who cannot catch, although he remains a folk hero with Rangers fans for his play in 2011....

The Pirates are very serious about adding Justin Upton and could give up one of their top two pitching prospects, Gerrit Cole or Jameson Taillon, to get a deal done. Pittsburgh has also put offers on the table for Royals first baseman Billy Butler and Phillies center fielder Victorino....

Just how strong is the White Sox's fielding? The Detroit Free Press' John Lowe, with an assist by Retrosheet's Dave Smith, points out that the Sox are on track to allow the second fewest unearned runs in a full season since 1920. They entered the weekend having allowed only 14 unearned runs. They seem unlikely to break the post-1920 mark of 20 set by the 1999 Mets, but the second-best mark is 30 by the 2010 Padres.

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