Red Sox

Buchholz: It's about the team

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Buchholz: It's about the team

BOSTON Clay Buchholz has pitched four consecutive quality starts. In that span he has allowed just four earned runs in 30 innings for a 1.20 ERA. In that span he has just one win. Entering Saturday nights game against the Twins, the Red Sox were 3-0 in the three previous games.

They are now 4-1.

The Sox fell to the Twins, 6-4, in yet another discouraging loss.

Buchholz went seven innings, giving up one unearned run on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

The lone run he allowed, in the fifth inning, was in part because of his own error, one of two he committed in the game. Both errors came on errant pick-off attempts. Buchholz entered the game with just one error this season. In 32 previous starts in 2011 and 2012 combined, he had a total of two errors. He committed that many within a span of 15 batters.

With one out in the fifth inning, Jamey Carroll reached on an infield single. With Denard Span, the next batter, at the plate, Buchholz attempted a pick-off but the throw was wild and Carroll took second. Span field out to center, but Ben Reveres swinging bunt stopped just in front of the plate. Catcher Kelly Shoppachs throw to first hit Revere, with Carroll coming around to score.

That was all the damage the Twins would do to Buchholz. He left with the Sox leading, 2-1.
An abysmal performance by the Sox pen, namely Andrew Miller and Alfredo Aceves, combined with a three-run home run by Joe Mauer -- with two outs on a 3-and-2 pitch in the ninth inning erased Buchholzs efforts.

Its not about me getting a win. Its about the team win, Buchholz said. Things happen where one run leads, they just dont hold up all the time.Its why this games humbling because things can happen like that, and just one pitch that you leave up or not exactly where you want it to go can end up out of the yard. Thats what happened.

Buchholz appeared to twist his ankle in the sixth, on the pitch that induced a 4-6-3 double play from Ryan Doumit. The trainer and manager Bobby Valentine came to the mound, but Buchholz stayed in, getting through the seventh unscathed.

He pitched great, Valentine said. I feel for him like I did for this whole team right now. He was, for whatever its worth, his arm felt good and his legs felt bad. He twisted his ankle and he didnt have the same stuff after that.

Despite Buchholzs performance, the Sox fell to 12-7 in his starts.

Its a tough one to swallow for sure, he said. But just got to have a short memory, forget about it, and come to the park tomorrow ready to play. Try to get this last game in the season with these guys and start a run. Thats what you do. We just need to be able to regroup a little bit and get back at it.

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.