Jul 20, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) and catcher David Ross (3) round third base to score on a double by right fielder Daniel Nava (not pictured) against the Kansas City Royals in the third inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox set to begin crucial stretch of play

The Boston Red Sox will begin a make or break stretch of games Monday night north of the boarder in Toronto. Their next 12 games could dictate how the remainder of the season plays out, as each contest will be against an AL East foe. Boston doesn’t play a game outside of their division until August 5.

Currently sitting 7.5 games behind the first place Orioles, the Red Sox have a golden opportunity to make up a ton of ground over the next two weeks.

They’ll square-off with the Blue Jays six times, the Rays three times and the Yankees three times.

Boston is tied for last in the division with the Rays, but they trail both the Blue Jays and Yankees by just 4.5 games. Depending on how the Sox perform in those games, there’s a real chance we could talking about the Sox and a potential race for first down the stretch.

The Sox have caught fire in recent weeks. They’ve won seven of their last eight games. Jon Lester has continued to be lights out on the hill, Brock Holt‘s been red hot at the dish, and Koji Uehara looks untouchable at the backend of the bullpen.

Great pitching squandered by a struggling offense seemed to be a theme in the first half of play for the Sox. But the bats seem to be coming around and picking up the pitching.

One of Boston’s biggest bats, Mike Napoli, has been heating up. The slugger is 6-for-14 in his last four games. He smacked a clutch game-winning homer in Saturday’s win over Kansas City. Sox fans can only hope Napoli breaks out as the summer progresses. His success could key a major run.

Despite the teams recent winning, veterans David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia must step it up. Boston will need all hands on deck if they hope to be in a favorable position when these 12 games conclude.

 

Tags: Boston Red Sox

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