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Ortiz on catching the Yankees: ‘Why not?’

09.20.09 at 6:53 pm ET

BALTIMORE — With the Red Sox‘ 9-3 win over the Orioles on Sunday, the Sox find themselves eight games ahead of the Texas Rangers in the wild card race and five games (after the Yankees lost to the Mariners) behind New York in the race for first place in the American League East.

So, with four games against the struggling Royals staring the Red Sox in the face, and then a crack at three games with the Yanks in New York over the weekend, could the Sox actually catch NY by regular season’s end? David Ortiz thinks so.

“Why not?” said the Red Sox slugger after his team’s sweep of the Orioles.

The obstacles keep on coming for the Yankees, who leave Seattle to play the Angels in Anaheim for three games before returning home for the showdown with the Red Sox. Following the series with Boston, New York gets its crack at Kansas City, for three in the Bronx, before closing out the regular season with a three-game set in St. Petersburg against the Rays.

The Red Sox, who have now won 11 of 13, close out their regular season with three games against Toronto and four vs. the Indians, all at Fenway Park.

Asked if he thought the Sox were playing their best baseball of the season, Ortiz simply said, “Look at the numbers, they will tell you.”

In the last two weeks, the Red Sox have scored more runs than any other team in baseball other than the Royals (Who knew?), with the second-best team batting average (.315, behind the Yankees’ .325), and the top slugging percentage (.502) and on-base percentage (.384).

During that span, Red Sox pitchers have compiled a 2.53 ERA (second-best in the majors).

Oh, and by the way, after Sunday’s rout, the Red Sox finish this season 16-2 against the Orioles, having scored 130 runs to Baltimore’s 68.

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