a 5.15 ERA as a Padre, although he has

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- With the complicated math of baseball in the wild-card era, players in the Boston clubhouse were unaware the Red Sox are playoff bound.Dustin Pedroia hit his fourth career grand slam to help Rick Porcello get his major league-leading 22nd win, and the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Saturday night for their 10th consecutive win.Boston maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Toronto for the division title and ensured no worse than the ALs second wild card. While the Red Sox technically have a magic number of one, the Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles play each other three times in the seasons final week -- meaning only one of them can win match Bostons 91 wins.Among the other wild-card contenders, only Detroit can reach 91 victories.I havent heard it, Red Sox manager John Farrell said moments after the game.Porcello was informed of the news by a reporter.Obviously, its big, Porcello said. Its the position that we wanted to be in coming into this last week of September. We definitely want the division going forward.Boston is on its longest September winning streak since an 11-game run in 1949.Pedroia stopped an 0-for-17 skid with a single in the sixth and gave Boston a 6-3 lead with a seventh-inning drive off Danny Farquhar.Everybody is obviously grinding, Pedroia said.Pedroia hit several foul balls, including one off his toe before going deep.You can see why hes as gd as he is because he fought off some gd pitches and got his pitch (a changeup) and crushed it, Farquhar said.Porcello (22-4) gave up three runs, eight hits and struck out nine over 6 1/3 innings. He just missed getting his 12th consecutive start of seven or more innings and three runs or fewer, which would have moved him past Cy Young (1904) and Pedro Martinez (2000) for the longest stretch during the same season in franchise history.Porcello is first Boston pitcher to have 22 wins since Martinez had 23 in his AL Cy Young Award winning season in 1999.Craig Kimbrel, the fifth Boston reliever, reached 30 saves for the sixth straight season despite allowing Logan Forsythes solo homer in the ninth.Brad Miller hit a two-run double in a three-run second that put Tampa Bay up 3-1 and gave him 80 RBI.Tampa Bay threatened in the second but failed to score due to two nice defensive plays. Pedroia made a throw from just in front of the outfield grass at second base on Mikie Mahtks grounder to get Corey Dickerson at the plate. Third baseman Brock Holt made a solid play along the line on Alexei Ramirezs grounder and threw him out at first to end the inning.We made a couple of really nifty plays, Farrell said. Petey with a heads-up play and then Brock made a beautiful backhand play to finish the inning.TRAINERS RMRed Sox: Farrell didnt rule out 3B Pablo Sandoval (left shoulder) from coming back this year if an injury replacement is required in the postseason. . Knuckleballer Steven Wright (right shoulder) threw at 120 feet on level ground for the second straight day but is not ready to throw off a mound.RAYS: DH Nick Franklin (left hamstring) was in the lineup for the first time since Sept. 15. He did pinch hit twice in-between.LKING AHEADFarrell said LHP David Price will start Tuesday and Sunday, which lines him up for Game 2 of the AL Division Series.HONORING BIG PAPIThe Rays will honor Red Sox DH David Ortiz in a pregame ceremony Sunday before his final game at Tropicana Field. He will be just the fourth visiting player to be honored, joining Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Cal Ripken Jr. Whenever somebody takes their time to honor my career I always appreciate it, Ortiz said. Everybody has shown a lot of respect and love.UP NEXTRed Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7) will go against Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi (9-6) in Sundays series finale.Andre Dawson Jersey .com) - Manchester City midfielder David Silva is expected to miss the next four weeks because of a calf problem. Cheap Marlins Jerseys .C. - The Carolina Hurricanes have placed backup goalie Anton Khudobin on injured reserve with an unspecified lower-body injury. http://www.cheapmarlinsjerseys.com/?tag=cheap-martin-prado-jersey . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. Wei-Yin Chen Jersey . Robredo, ranked No. 16, bounced back from an upset loss to Leonardo Mayer in the second round of the Royal Guard Open in Chile last week to down Carreno Busta in 1 hour, 25 minutes. On a day filled mostly with qualifying matches, fifth-seeded Marcel Granollers of Spain also entered the second with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 win over Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia, while Guido Pella of Argentina defeated Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 7-6 (6), 6-4 to advance. Cheap MLB Jerseys . Louis. To which I would say two things: 1. Where there is smoke, there is or perhaps has been a little fire. Or, in other words, the two teams would appear to have at least spoken. And spoken is defined as one calling the other to inquire, no more, no less.SAN DIEGO -- The seasons first meeting between the San Diego Padres and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in early May produced one of the biggest surprises of the season.The Padres swept a doubleheader to take the series. Going into the May 11 doubleheader, the Cubs had won seven straight games -- including the series opener against the Padres -- and 11 of 12 while getting off to a 24-6 start. The Padres were 13-20 and last in the National League West.And the Padres swept the Cubs by 7-4 and 1-0 scores, results that effectively changed nothingSome 90 games later, the Cubs are still the run-away leaders of the National League Central. And the Padres are 18 games under .500 having just taken three of four from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a head-to-head battle to avoid the NL West basement.Now the Cubs come to Petco Park -- also known during these visits as Wrigley Field West -- for three games non-impactful games.But they promise to be fun for fans of both the Padres and the uprted Cubs fans of the San Diego area. And there are plenty of them.The first time I came back here with the Padres it felt and sounded like we were the home team, said former Padres first baseman Anthony Rizzo.But there will be a first Monday night in the opener of the three-game series.Cubs left-hander John Lester -- who was the winning pitcher back on May 10 in the opener of the Padres-Cubs series at Wrigley Field -- will be making his first career start at Petco Park.Mondays start will complete the stadium cycle for Lester, as Petco Park is the only actiive major league ballpark Lester hasnt appeared.ddddddddddddThe ballpark wont be the only thing new to Lester Monday night. The Padres will have at least five different starters.There will be one familiar player on the opposing team; Padres right-hander Edwin Jackson is a former teammate of Lester.Lester is 13-4 on the season. He has the seventh-best ERA in the NL (2.86) and is 10th in opponents batting average (.21 and 10th in strikeouts (146). Perhaps more important going into Monday night is the fact that Lester has the second-best night ERA (2.49) in the NL, and that he is left-handed.With left-handed rkie hitters in their regular starting lineup, the Padres have struggled recently against southpaw starters.Jackson, meanwhile, is 3-2 with a 5.15 ERA as a Padre, although he has taken a no-hitter into at least the fifth inning in two of his six starts with San Diego.One impressive run did end for Chicago on Sunday afternn in Colorado where starter Cole Hamels was tagged with the loss. Cubs starters had won 12 straight decisions while posting a 1.50 ERA in their previous 18 starts in August.I dont compete with our other pitchers, said Lester, who has not allowed more than four earned runs in any of his last four starts. It would be great if they all did better than me.No one wants to be the lse link in the chain. And our offense has been really gd to us. It makes our lives easier as pitchers. ' ' '

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