Boston Red Sox fans have become used to the team acquiring players at the trade deadline to bolster their team's roster for a stretch run in the playoffs.
But things went a little differently this year. Boston's front office did make some trades for big name big league talent, but it came at an even higher cost. Jon Lester and John Lackey were shipped off to Oakland and St. Louis, respectively. And even shortstop Stephen Drew, outfielder Jonny Gomes, pitcher Felix Dubrount and reliever Andrew Miller left town.
With Boston in last place in the American League East, management figured this year would be a good time to dump some salary and get ahold of some pieces that can help the team win in the future - meaning 2015 and beyond. But the new-looked Red Sox didn't wait that long to get back to their winning ways. Boston faced the New York Yankees in its first game after the July 31 deadline and beat their rivals 4-3.
With four of their five starters from the opening day rotation now on different teams around the league, Boston turned to young starting pitcher Anthony Ranaudo. And the former 39th overall pick won his first big league start with a quality start over the Yankees. Ranaudo allowed just four hits and two runs over six innings to earn his first MLB victory. He struck out two batters - including Derek Jeter for his first career K. Jeter had words for the home plate umpire after the third strike was called on the outside corner.
The Sox's biggest acquisition, Yoenis Cespedes, did not play after arriving just before game time from Oakland. But he was in uniform and in the dugout becoming acquainted with his new teammates during the game. But while Cespedes didn't see the field, Allen Craig got the start in left field for his new American League club and made himself right at home at Fenway with a double down the left field line. Craig did not record a run or RBI in the game and did strike out and ground into a double play late in the game, but he received a nice ovation for his two-bagger earlier in the game.
The old faces did do enough for the offense to get Ranaudo his win. Dustin Pedroia doubled and singled home runs and David Ortiz knocked Pedroia in in the third inning. David Ross also added an RBI single in the fourth inning before leaving the game with an apparent foot injury in the seventh inning.
Tommy Lane earned a seventh inning hold in his MLB debut and Junichi Tazawa only allowed New York to get within one in the eighth. Koji Uehara handled things from there for his 22nd save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth.