Red Sox

Injury notes: Youkilis set to return; Matsuzaka suffers setback

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Injury notes: Youkilis set to return; Matsuzaka suffers setback

PHILADELPHIA -- Two Red Sox players with injuries are getting ready to return to action, but a third had a setback and is going to be a while longer.

An update:

Kevin Youkilis - Youkilis (back) will continue his rehab stint with Pawtucket tomorrow, having played four games with them already, including the last three at third base.

The expectation is that Youkilis will then rejoin the Red Sox Tuesday in Baltimore.

"If he feels good after (Monday's) game, I don't see any reason why not," said Bobby Valentine. "But it's on him. If he wants another couple of at-bats or if he needs anything . . ."

Ryan Sweeney - Sweeney, who made a game-saving catch in the seventh inning of Saturday's win, may have suffered a slight concussion in making the catch, as his head hit the warning track, snapping his neck back in the process.

He was held out of Sunday's game, and underwent mandatory testing both Saturday night and again Sunday.

"I'll be alright," said Sweneey. "I think they just wanted me to (be sure). I kind of had some symptoms (Saturday) night. I re-took another concussion test after the game, and it was better than it was."

His neck is still sore, but not something that should get in the way of returning to the lineup.

"Yeah, it's better now," said Sweeney. "I'm just a little sore.

I'll probably have to come in and make sure I can do everything (Monday)."

MLB has a seven-day disabled list for players with concussions, but neither Sweeney nor Sox believe that will be necessary.

Daisuke Matsuzaka - Matsuzaka, who was due to make his next scheduled rehab start Tuesday for Pawtucket, instead has been scratched from that outing after receiving an injection in his right trapezius (upper back) muscle.

"We've got to make sure he's 100 percent," said Valentine.

Matsuzaka's 30-day rehab window was supposed to be up this week, but the Red Sox will likely seek permission for him to go on a seven-day DL while the back improves, then begin a new rehab window.

Such requests must be approved by the commissioner's office.

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.