C├ęspedes brings a powerful bat to Fenway Park...until he becomes a free agent after 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez) Flurry of trades leaves Red Sox in state of uncertainty Chicago White Sox v Boston Red Sox Red Sox Trade Andrew Miller for Top 100 Prospect Rodriguez Stephen Drew (Photo: Bill Kostroun) Red Sox Trade Stephen Drew to Yankees for Kelly Johnson Less than a season after pitching in the World Series clincher against the Cardinals, John Lackey has been traded from the Red Sox to St. Louis at the trade deadline in exchange for Allen Craig. (Boston Globe) MLB Trade Deadline: Red Sox Trade John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for Allen Craig

Red Sox Clinch Playoff Spot

Late inning heroics by Jason Varitek and Julio Lugo sealed a place in the playoffs for the Red Sox tonight. Carlos Pena hit two home runs, including a breakout three run shot off of Javier Lopez, making the score 5-6 in the 7th, which until that time, the Red Sox were cruising and Dice-K was systematically shutting down the Devil Rays. Matsuzaka pitched six and two-thirds innings, allowing 5ER (two from the home run against Lopez) and striking out seven; overall, tonight was a quality start for Matsuzaka. Mike Timlin and Eric Gagne came in for scoreless relief in the seventh and eighth innings. To lead off the ninth, Varitek crushed a homerun into the left field bleachers (good time to break out of that slump Varitek!) to tie the game at six. Hinske followed with a scorching double down the first base line into the corner of right field. Lugo followed with a two-run homer to deep left and officially ruined the Devil Rays’ evening. Papelbon came on for a perfect bottom of the ninth and ushered the Red Sox into the playoffs.

J.D. Drew has also come to life in recent games: tonight hitting a two-run home run and doubling in a run; he also scored twice. Varitek, Lugo, and Drew all hitting well going into the postseason is welcome news. It should be a fun October!

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