Catching the Yankees in the AL East is not going to be easy, but the Boston Red Sox will have that on their minds the rest of the season. While New York was winning their third straight - a rain-shortened, 6-0 win over Toronto - the Red Sox were thumping the White Sox, 10-1, thanks to a couple of homers by Cody Ross.
The victory moved Boston into a tie for third place with Tampa Bay, though both teams are 10 1/2 behind the Yankees. Baltimore is 10 out, in second place, making the Yanks' lead the largest in the majors.
The Red Sox have recently gotten a couple of veterans back from injuries. Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury give the Sox needed punch at the top of the lineup, in addition to excellent defense in the outfield. Boston is still awaiting the return of former MVP, Dustin Pedroia, who has been sidelined since July 4 with a jammed right thumb.
Boston plays New York 12 more times, including the final three games of the regular season, in New York. With their full lineup intact, can they make a run at the Bombers?
Kubel got things started with a two-run bomb in the first inning and added a solo shot in the fourth to back the pitching of Ian Kennedy, who scattered eight hits and allowed just one earned run over eight strong innings.
The homers were Kubel's 16th and 17th; the three RBI upped his season's total to 63, the fourth-highest total in the league and just three behind leader Carlos Beltran of St. Louis.
The win kept Arizona seven games behind San Francisco in the West, with the Dodgers in between, three games out. Cincy's loss moved them back into a dead heat in the Central with the Pirates, who topped Colorado, 9-6.