Red Sox

Bard implosion leads to Red Sox loss to Jays, 5-1

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Bard implosion leads to Red Sox loss to Jays, 5-1

TORONTO Daniel Bard struggled with what looked like a complete lackof control, posting the worst outing for a Red Sox starting pitcherthis season, and the Sox dropped the series finale, 5-1, to the Blue Jays.

Bard lasted just 1 23 innings, facing 13 batters in all, giving up five runs on just one hit withsix walks two hit batters, a home run, and two strikeouts. Bards ERA rose from4.56 to 5.24.

Bard opened the game with walks to Kelly Johnson and YunelEscobar before Jose Bautistas blast into the left field seats. Bautista hadbeen 0-for-9 in his career against Bard before that.

Bard followed that with a four-pitch walk to EdwinEncarnacion before getting David Cooper to ground into a double play and BrettLawrie to fly out to Scott Podsednik in center.

Bards performance deteriorated in the second inning. Heopened with another four-pitch walk to Colby Rasmus and a walk to J.P.Arencibia before striking out No. 9 hitter Rajai Davis and Johnson.

Bard then hit Yunel Escobar with a pitch to load the basesbefore a walk to Bautista forced in a run. Encarnacion then became Bardssecond hit batter of the afternoon, forcing in another run -- with the RogersCentre crowd chanting for his ejection -- and forcing Bard from the game as theRogers Centre crowd booed him off the field.

Franklin Morales replaced Bard, holding the Blue Jays scorelessfor 4 13 innings, his longest outing as a reliever and longest since going 413 as a starter for the Rockies on April 28, 2008. Scott Atchison and Rich Hill pitched thefinal two scoreless innings.

Meanwhile, Sox batters could do little with Blue Jays rookieDrew Hutchison, who went seven innings, giving up one run on five hits and awalk with five strikeouts, a home run and two hit batters.

The Sox scored their lone run on Kelly Shoppachs third homerun of the season, a solo shot with two outs in the fifth of Hutchison.

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

UPDATE: The deal is for three years, per Ken Rosenthal.

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday. 

 

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

Could Nationals' interest in Cora mess with Red Sox' plans?

The Washington Nationals will ask to speak to Houston Astros bench coach Alex Cora after the ALCS, Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe reported, which could throw a wrench into the Red Sox' plans to name Cora their manager.

The Sox appeared close to naming Cora to replace John Farrell after the Astros season is finished, NBC Sports Boston Red Sox Insider Evan Drellich reported earlier this week. Then the Nats decided to part ways with manager Dusty Baker after consecutive N.L. East titles but Division Series flameouts.

Cora, 41, as Cafardo points out, was once offered a player development job with the Nats, who were the last team he played for (2011) in his 14-plus years as a major league infielder, including 2005-08 with the Red Sox. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo obviously has a fondness for Cora, telling MLB.com in 2011:

"I think it comes natural to him to be a teacher. Alex still has a lot left in his tank as a player. But he has my number, and when he’s done playing, he can make a call. It will be well-received."

After interviewing Cora, ex-Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and Ron Gardenhire, who took the Tigers job this week, Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told WEEI.com that he was still "undecided" if he'll interview anyone else.