(AP) — The Boston Red Sox have the most wins in the majors at the All-Star break after one of their worst seasons.
They’re 58-39 with a 2½-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East. With just 11 more wins, they’ll match their total for all of last year when they were 69-93 and finished last in the division.
The change in managers from Bobby Valentine to steady John Farrell has helped. So has a rebuilt offense that is first or second in baseball in nearly every major offensive category.
The pitching staff has benefited from the return of Farrell. He was Boston’s pitching coach under Terry Francona from 2007-10.
And the addition of productive players with a good clubhouse presence has helped produce a more cohesive club.