Four Real? BOSTON TAKES THE AL EAST! 9-20-13

BEER ME! The Red Sox are the 2013 American League East Division Champions! (Stuart Cahill/Boston Herald)

Jan-Christian Sorensen
Contributing Writer


Affix those champagne goggles. Brace yourself for the bear hug. We’re BACK!!

For the first time since 2007, your Boston Red Sox are the American League East Division CHAMPIONS!

On Friday night at Fenway, Boston laid claim to the division crown with a 6-3 win over the visiting Toronto Blue Jays. More importantly, the Sox completed a near-mythic climb from worst in the AL East in 2012 at 69-93 to first at 94-61 (and counting) in 2013.

In case you were wondering, yes — that’s also the best record in all of baseball to this point in the season.

Oh, and by the way, Red Sox starter Jon Lester won his 100th career game in the process, going seven innings and giving up one run on five hits while striking out eight to move to 15-8 on the year with a 3.67 ERA.

So many great stories, so little time, Red Sox Nation.

Mike Carp led the Red Sox offence, going 1 for 3 at the plate with a walk and three RBI, while Dustin Pedroia went 3 for 5 with another RBI as the Red Sox out-hit the Blue Jays 12-10 in the opening match of the three-game final home stand at the Fens.

While Junichi Tazawa made it interesting by giving up two runs on three hits in just a third of an inning of relief, Koji Uehara came on to strike out two en route to recording a five-out save for his 20th of the season.

For the Jays, Esmil Rogers got touched up early and took the loss to fall to 5-8, giving up two runs on three hits as he walked five and struck out two in just two innings and a third, while Neil Wagner was roughed up for three runs on four hits without recording an out.

How rare is this vintage of champagne, you might ask? It’s only the second American League East Division crown for the Sox since 1995.

Sit back, Red Sox Nation. Relax a little bit. Rest Up. Soxtober is just around the corner.

Here are the four at-bats that changed the game:

1) The Wild One: In the first inning with David Ortiz at the plate, Esmil Rogers uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Dustin Pedroia to scoot home from third to give Boston a 1-0 lead.

2) Walk This Way: In the third with the bases loaded and only one out, Mike Carp turned a 1-2 count into a walk to bring home Ortiz from third to put the Sox up 2-0.

3) Mike Strikes Again: In the seventh with two out and two men in scoring position, Mike Carp singled to center to reel in Daniel Nava and Ortiz to make the score 5-1 in Boston’s favor.

4) Save The Best For Last: In the eighth with two down and Will Middlebrooks on second, Pedroia singled to center to drive in the Boston third baseman and give the home team a 6-3 lead. 

Tomorrow, in Game Two of the series, Sox ace Clay Buchholz makes his third start since returning to the rotation after three months on the disabled list with a shoulder injury with win No. 12 in his sights. So far this season he’s posted a sparkling 11-0 record with a 1.51 ERA. The Jays will put the ball in the hands of Mark Buehrle, 11-9 with a 4.17 ERA in 2013. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. EST.

Postseason berth? check.

American League East title? Check again.

100-win season? Why not?

Twitter: @jan_doh