Red Sox

Beckett tosses seven shutout innings, Sox win, 5-0

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Beckett tosses seven shutout innings, Sox win, 5-0

BOSTON Josh Beckett rebounded from a horrendous outing in his last start to dominate the light-hitting Mariners at Fenway Park Tuesday afternoon. The Red Sox swept the two-game series with a 5-0 win, giving them a five-game win streak.

Becketts outing also gave the Sox five consecutive quality starts for the first time this season and the first time since they had eight in a row May 22 29, 2011. Tim Wakefield, who was honored before todays game, began the streak last season, and Beckett had the last start in that streak.

Against the Mariners, who entered the game hitting just .235 as a team, better than only Oaklands .218 in the American League, Beckett went seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts, to improve to 3-4, dropping his ERA a full run from 5.97 to 4.97.

David Ortiz got the Sox on the scoreboard in the third with his eighth home run of the season, a one-out solo shot on a 3-2 fastball into the Sox bullpen. It was the 386th home run of his career, moving him past Dwight Evans for sole possession of 56th on baseballs all-time list. (Next on the list is Johnny Bench with 389.)

In the fourth, Cody Ross walked with one out, went to third on Daniel Navas single and scored on Mike Aviles double, with Nava scoring on Ryan Sweeneys groundout to second base.

The Sox added another run in the fifth when Ortiz led off with a bunt down the third base line, took second on Adrian Gonzalezs fielders choice, and scored on Will Middlebrooks single to left.

In the eighth, Mike Aviles two-out double scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who doubled to lead off the inning.

The Sox bullpen turned in another solid performance as Rich Hill pitched a perfect eighth and Alfredo Aceves did the same in the ninth.

With the win, the Sox improve to 17-19.

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

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Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

HOUSTON - Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest, too, before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.

Combined, they throttled the Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

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.