Five thoughts: Red Sox stick to the script

Dustin Pedroia exits game after taking check-swing foul off of his face

Following the grand slam, Altherr improved his slash line to.276/.348/.521 along with 17 home runs, 55 RBI, and 51 runs scored in 362 plate appearances.

Sale's season strikeout total stands at 287 entering Wednesday night's start in Baltimore, leaving him 13 K's shy of becoming the first American League pitcher to reach 300 strikeouts in a season since former Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez in 1999.

Boston Red Sox second baseman Brock Holt, bottom, ducks to avoid right fielder Mookie Betts as Betts catches a fly ball that was hit by Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado in the first inning of a baseball game in Baltimore, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.

Either the Orioles will be good enough that they keep him to make one last run at the postseason or they'll be bad enough that it's time to blow up the franchise.

The Red Sox currently own a three-game lead over the New York Yankees in the AL East with 11 games left to play, with their magic number to clinch the division down to nine. It's not a very heartening approach.

Baltimore is 12-4 in extra-inning games, another painful loss in the month of September that's seen the Orioles all but slip out of the playoff race.

Live televised coverage of the MLB game comes exclusively through ESPN in the United States. But I mean, it was a pretty comfortable situation with the two right-handed hitters and only two outs to get. The Orioles are a +175 underdog and the over-under is 8.5. Wright, Swihart and Brian Johnson may be trade bait as they are out of options. It's Britton whose year has the biggest statistical year-over-year difference, though there's also possibility for a major gulf between the greatest year a reliever has ever had and one that includes a lengthy absence from arm injury. Every game right now that we're not in the win column hurts. He had never played above Double A before.

The left-hander reached double figures in strikeouts for the 18th time this season.

The Orioles were hitless in the final 5.1 innings. Sox manager John Farrell has been trying to soft peddle that idea, which makes some sense.

Error! There was an error processing your request. In fact, if the Sox beat the O's Wednesday night, and the Angels lose to the Indians, Boston will have clinched at least a berth in the Wild Card play-in game.

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