Red Sox players swear this September will be different than the last two. Far so, so good. The Sox beat Chicago 7- 6 for a three game sweep at Fenway while Tampa Bay lost again out west. Don't look now but the Sox lead is 5 1/2 games with 24 games to go.

On this Labor Day Monday the Red Sox have the best record in the American League at 82 - 56. Tampa Bay is fading - after Sunday's 5-1 loss in Oakland the Rays are now 5 1/2 games behind. The O's are 8 1/2 back. The Yankees are 9 back.

What to watch for as the Detroit Tigers come into town....

- Shane Victorino and Jacoby Ellsbury both left the White Sox game with injuries. How serious?

- Miquel Cabrera of the Tigers hasn't played in the last two games because of injury. How serious?

- David Ortiz is two hits shy of 2,000 for his career.

- Tough luck John Lackey faces Doug Fister in game one in the battle of the two best teams in the AL right now.