Alex Speier

Can the Red Sox carry momentum into the playoffs?

The Red Sox are 18-5 in September.

Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Recent history suggests being the best team down the stretch is far from a guarantee of October success.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 5

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/AP233151778791.jpg With Blue Jays’ loss, Red Sox magic number to clinch AL East down to 1

Aaron Hicks’ game-winning homer allowed New York to avoid a four-game sweep in Toronto.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2016-09-24T234519Z_599586838_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-BOSTON-RED-SOX-AT-TAMPA-BAY-RAYS.jpg Red Sox postseason roster coming into focus

Most spots appear locked up, but questions remain at third base and in the bullpen.

RED SOX NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2ad1ca9e28774f619cda01def83738cc-2ad1ca9e28774f619cda01def83738cc-0.jpg Christian Vazquez sets sights on future

The Red Sox catcher hopes to re-establish himself as a frontline backstop.

Paul Pierce announced Monday that he plans to retire after this season.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

GARY WASHBURN | ON BASKETBALL

Paul Pierce shows he’s still driven to win

The Clippers forward is aging better than most of his contemporaries.

CELTICS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/610588724.jpg Avery Bradley recalls time in Boston with retiring Paul Pierce

The Celtics guard says former teammates Pierce and Kevin Garnett had a big impact on his career.

New Celtics forward Al Horford recorded a promotional video Monday during the team’s media day.

Al Horford, Celtics appear an ideal fit

The prize free-agent acquisition loves the history of the franchise and the direction it’s going in.

Boston, Ma-Sept. 15, 2016-Globe Staff Photo by Stan Grossfeld- Christian Elias, 44, the Green Monster scoreboard operator at work during a Yankees Red Sox game at Fenway Park.

stan grossfeld/globe staff

STAN GROSSFELD

The inside stories of Fenway’s Green Monster

Christian Elias, the scoreboard operator who is retiring after 25 years, knows what Manny was doing in there, among other things.

FLUTO SHINZAWA | ON HOCKEY

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/609631342.jpg Brad Marchand gets security, Bruins get a friendly cap hit

The left wing could have waited for a bigger payday in free agency, but both sides won in this deal.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_bossj10A_spts-9922-kon--90x90@BostonGlobe.com.jpg Bruins, Brad Marchand agree on 8-year, $49 million extension

The deal runs through 2024-25 and is worth an average of $6.125 million per season.

BRUINS NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/davis_boscol2_spts.jpg Bruins lose preseason opener to Columbus

Sam Gagner scored the only goal in the overtime shootout, leading Columbus to a 3-2 win at TD Garden.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin092216Patriots-Texans_Spt3.jpg LeGarrette Blount has a head of steam going early

The beefy Patriots tailback is on a roll, with back-to-back 100-yard efforts five days apart.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/76a03cdfdeb14697884ef28db0ab1d17-76a03cdfdeb14697884ef28db0ab1d17-0-9937-U732036907123egC--90x90@BostonGlobe.com.jpg This is classic Rex Ryan

The Bills coach brought up the Patriots quarterback situation unprompted in a news conference Sunday.

BC NOTEBOOK

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/Chin092416BC-WagnerFB_Spt7-9952.jpg Finding momentum is elusive for Boston College football

Coach Steve Addazio is hoping the Eagles can get some traction in what has been an up-and-down season.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/26/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/2016-09-26T204306Z_16192328_NOCID_RTRMADP_3_MLB-NEW-YORK-METS-AT-MIAMI-MARLINS.jpg Jose Fernandez memorials fill Marlins Park

The mood in the ballpark was somber before the game, which Fernandez had been scheduled to start.

FALCONS 45, SAINTS 32

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2016/09/27/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/f97c3f12cf95432ea3700f1e0b6f3372-f97c3f12cf95432ea3700f1e0b6f3372-0.jpg Falcons overpower winless Saints

Tevin Coleman ran for three touchdowns, and Matt Ryan passed for two more.