Red Sox

May 3, 2011: Red Sox 7, Angels 3

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May 3, 2011: Red Sox 7, Angels 3

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- If only the Red Sox could figure out a way to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim every night.

The Red Sox bashed the Angels for the second straight night on Tuesday, 7-3, pushing their record against the Angels to a perfect 6-0 this season. Since the start of the 2010, the Sox are 15-1 against them.

Jon Lester won his fourth straight start, improving to 4-1 this year. He pitched seven innings and allowed just one run on six hits.

The Sox rallied from behind to score twice against Dan Haren in the sixth. Singles from Adrian Gonzalez and Jed Lowrie produced the runs.

Following a run-scoring double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh, the Sox tacked on four more in the eighth with homers by Gonzalez -- his first after 96 at-bats -- David Ortiz and Marco Scutaro.

Haren took the loss. He has two losses this year and Jered Weaver one -- all at the hands of the Red Sox.

Player of the Game: Jon Lester

Lester won his fourth straight start, limiting the Angels to a single run over seven innings to improve to 4-1.

He struck out 11, marking the 15th time in his career that he has registered double-digit strikeouts.

After allowing a solo homer to Mark Trumbo in the second inning, Lester permitted just one more baserunner into scoring position the rest of the way.

Honorable Mention: Adrian Gonzalez

Gonzalez had a run-scoring single in the sixth to account for the first Red Sox run of the night. He then added a solo homer to lead off the eighth inning, chasing Angels starter Dan Haren.

The homer was his first as a member of the Red Sox at Fenway and just the second of the season overall, coming 96 at-bats after hitting his first.

The Goat: Hisanori Takahashi

Takahashi entered with no outs in the bottom of the eighth and the Angels trailing 4-1. Four batters -- and two homers later -- the Red Sox lead was 7-1 and the game was effectively over.

Turning Point: Saltalamacchia Breaks it Open

In the seventh inning, with the Sox clinging to a 2-1 lead, Jarrod Saltalamacchia belted a double high off the wall in left-center, scoring Carl Crawford and pushing the Red Sox lead to 4-1.

By the Numbers: 1.54

Since being rocked for six runs on Opening Day, Jon Lester has compiled a 1.54 ERA over his last five starts.

Quote of Note:

"Was I concerned? Well, I knew I'd hit another one before the end of the year.'' -- Adrian Gonzalez after snapping a homerless streak that lasted 96 at-bats.

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

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.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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