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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Red Sox Spoil Todd Helton's Final Game at Coors Field

It seems apropos that Todd Helton's final game at Coors Field would more closely resemble a softball game, oh and also that his team lost since they were known to do that for many of his days (17 years) in Colorado. Tonight, the Red Sox (96-63 overall, 43-35 away) outslugged the Rockies (72-87 overall, 45-36 home) 15-5 in the series finale. The victory was extra sweet for Boston because this afternoon, the Angels beat the A's 3-1 putting the Red Sox two games up (with three to go) for the best record in the AL.

Helton did his part with a line straight out of a movie: solo homer, RBI double and sac fly. Unfortunately, the rest of his team weren't really on the same page. The Red Sox got most of their runs from extra-base hits: Will Middlebrooks had a grand slam and three-run homer; Shane Victorino hit a three-run homer and Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 4 for 5 with a double, three RBIs and two runs.

A nice footnote for Boston: David Ortiz's two-run double gave him an even 100 RBIs on the season. That's the seventh time he's done it in a Red Sox uniform, trailing only Ted Williams (9) and Jim Rice (8). The big news in this game for the Red Sox is that Jacoby Ellsbury returned after missing 16 games. He batted leadoff and was 1 for 2 with two runs scored before getting replaced in the fourth inning.

Jake Peavy (12-5) struggled mightily but still made it through six innings. This was the final interleague game of the season for Boston, the only other way they'll see an NL team in 2013 is if they reach the World Series. The Red Sox finished with the second best record (14-6) in Interleague play this season so they have no reason to fear anyone from the weaker league.

The Red Sox are coming back this way (relatively speaking) with an off-day tomorrow followed by a three-game series in Baltimore. The Orioles have been eliminated from playoff contention and perhaps after Friday, Boston will have wrapped up the top seed in the American League playoffs. You can't overstate the importance of that well-earned honor. The regular season concludes on Sunday.

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