Red Sox

April 21, 2011: Red Sox 4, Angels 2

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April 21, 2011: Red Sox 4, Angels 2

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

ANAHEIM, Calif -- For much of the night on Thursday, the Red Sox couldn't buy a hit with runners in scoring position. Then, up came Adrian Gonzalez with runners on the corners and no out in the top of the 11th inning.

Gonzalez turned on a pitch and drove it into right field for a run-scoring double and Jed Lowrie later added a sacrifice fly, sending the Red Sox to a 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels in Boston's first extra-inning contest this season.

The Sox had had numerous chances earlier, including two on and no out in the seventh, then loading the bases with one out in the eighth, but couldn't cash in. Until Gonzalez's at-bat, the Sox had been 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Bobby Jenks got the win with the save going to Jonthan Papelbon. Josh Beckett pitched a gem, allowing two runs on three hits over eight innings, but got a no-decision for his effort.

The Angels had pulled even in the seventh when Beckett made one of his few mistakes all night, leaving a 3-and-2 fastball over the middle of the plate to Torii Hunter, who drove a pitch out to straightaway center for a two-run homer.

The Sox had snapped a scoreless tie in the sixth when, after walks to Carl Crawford and Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury dropped a broken-bat bloop single into right field, scoring both baserunners.

Beckett didn't allow a hit until the sixth and threw 125 pitches, the second-highest total of his career.

Player of the Game: Adrian Gonzalez

Though he hasn't struggled nearly to the degree that fellow newcomer Carl Crawford has, Gonzalez hasn't had much of an early-season impact on the offense. Before Thursday night, he was tied for fourth in RBI. But he delivered the big hit that had eluded the Red Sox all night when he doubled home J.D. Drew in the top of the 11th inning.

The Angels had Gonzalez shaded to left, but the first baseman nicely turned on a pitch and pulled it into a gaping space in right.

Honorable Mention: Josh Beckett

Beckett turned in his third straight outstanding start, limiting the Angels to just two runs on three hits over eight innings. He deserved the win, but the Sox stranded baserunners left and right and couldn't get the go-ahead run while Beckett was the pitcher of record.

The Goat: Eric Aybar

Aybar laced a ball into the right-field corner leading off the eighth, but foolishly
attempted to go for a triple. A terrific relay by Dustin Pedroia cut down Aybar at third.

The Angels are an aggressive club by nature, but Aybar would have done well to put himself into scoring position with no out. Instead, he ran the Angels out of the potential go-ahead run late in the game.

Turning Point: Gonzalez comes through

Inning after inning, the Red Sox failed to come up with a big hit when they needed it most. Then came Gonzalez in the top of the 11th, producing the go-ahead run with a double pulled into the right field corner.

Until then, the Sox had been a putrid 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

By the Numbers: 15

The Red Sox left 15 runners stranded, compared to the three for the Angels.

Quote of Note:

"I'll take 15 runners stranded with a win. Doesn't matter how many hits you get or

how many you strand as long as you get the win." -- Adrian Gonzalez

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

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HOFer Joe Morgan's letter urges voters to keep steroid users out of Hall

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan is urging voters to keep “known steroid users” out of Cooperstown.

A day after the Hall revealed its 33-man ballot for the 2018 class, the 74-year-old Morgan argued against the inclusion of players implicated during baseball’s steroid era in a letter to voters with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The letter from the vice chairman of the Hall’s board of directors was sent Tuesday using a Hall email address.

Read the full text of Morgan's letter here. 

“Steroid users don’t belong here,” Morgan wrote. “What they did shouldn’t be accepted. Times shouldn’t change for the worse.”

Hall voters have been wrestling with the issue of performance-enhancing drugs for several years. Baseball held a survey drug test in 2003 and the sport began testing for banned steroids the following year with penalties. Accusations connected to some of the candidates for the Hall vary in strength from allegations with no evidence to positive tests that caused suspensions.

About 430 ballots are being sent to voters, who must have been members of the BBWAA for 10 consecutive years, and a player needs at least 75 percent for election. Ballots are due by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Writers who had not been covering the game for more than a decade were eliminated from the rolls in 2015, creating a younger electorate that has shown more willingness to vote for players tainted by accusations of steroid use. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens each received a majority of votes for the first time in 2017 in their fifth year on the ballot.

Morgan said he isn’t speaking for every Hall of Famer, but many of them feel the same way that he does.

“Players who failed drug tests, admitted using steroids, or were identified as users in Major League Baseball’s investigation into steroid abuse, known as the Mitchell Report, should not get in,” Morgan wrote. “Those are the three criteria that many of the players and I think are right.”

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were inducted into the Hall of Fame in July. They were joined by former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, who were voted in by a veterans committee.

Some baseball writers said the election of Selig, who presided over the steroids era, influenced their view of whether tainted stars should gain entry to the Hall.

Morgan praised BBWAA voters and acknowledged they are facing a “tricky issue,” but he also warned some Hall of Famers might not make the trip to Cooperstown if steroid users are elected.

“The cheating that tainted an era now risks tainting the Hall of Fame too,” he wrote. “The Hall of Fame means too much to us to ever see that happen. If steroid users get in, it will divide and diminish the Hall, something we couldn’t bear.”

© 2017 by The Associated Press

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.