Red Sox

Notes: Beckett gets fourth straight no-decision

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Notes: Beckett gets fourth straight no-decision

By DannyPicard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; Josh Beckett has allowed only six earned runs in his lastfour starts, but once again was held to a no-decision on Monday night atFenway Park.

In those last four outings Beckett has pitched 25 13 innings,including the seven shutout innings he put together in Bostons 2-1,extra-innings win over the Minnesota Twins on Monday.

Beckett said after the game his defense made him lookbetter than his stuff, but he still allowed zero runson six hits and only one walk, while striking out five in 103 pitches.

It marked the ninth scoreless outing from a Red Sox starterthis season, which is the most in the majors.

He was tremendous, said manager Terry Franconaafter the win. One walk, he really pitched well. Weve come to kind of expectthat, which is good for us. He feels good about himself. Hes throwing a lot ofstrikes with all his pitches. And has been really effective.

I felt like we played great defense, said Beckett. Theyprobably made it look that way. I kept mixing pitches in there but it was astruggle to find my curveball early. I felt like I got away with a fewmistakes. The hardest-hit balls that they hit were at guys.

Beckett, who now has an ERA of 1.99, left the game with a1-0 lead, thanks to an Adrian Gonzalez RBI single to left field in the fifth. But after an eighth inning that saw a Denard Span single, followed byan Alfredo Aceves balk and a two-out, bloop RBI single by Jason Kubel off JonathanPapelbon, Beckett was no longer able to pick up a decision.

But as long as the Red Sox eventually come out on top,Becket said no decisions really dont bother him.

We get paid to win games, and ateam win is way better than me getting a win or a loss or whatever, saidBeckett. Ill finish up 2-1 if we win the rest of my starts. Id be completelyhappy with that. I dont have an arbitration case which frequently hinge on won-loss record to win.

Picking up that win on Monday night was reliever HidekiOkajima, who hadnt seen any game action since May 4.

Okajima threw 43 pitches (27 for strikes) in two innings ofwork, and allowed only two hits while walking two and striking out three.

He had been rested for a few days, which is good, becauseweve leaned on Matt Albers and Daniel Bard a little bit, said Francona. We wanted tostay away from them. He did a good job.

Those guys down in the bullpen, theyre aware of whosavailable and whos not. You didnt see anybody warming up. He knew he had topitch.

I was just making sure that I hit the corners today, andmade sure they didnt hit a home run off me, said Okajima. I think I did agood job.

In between Beckett and Okajima, Aceves and Papelbon blewwhat would have been a 1-0 Red Sox win. They did so in the top of the eighth,when Kubel blooped a single into shallow right-center, just out of the reach ofDustin Pedroia, and scoring Span from second with two outs.

Pap did a good job, said Francona. Pap came in and madegood pitches. That ball, thats their best hitter right now, and he hit a splitthat barely got over Pedeys head. Thats not bad pitching.

Span who scored the the game-tying run got to second because of another Aceves balk, which made him the first Red Sox pitcher to balk in consecutive appearances since John Dopson did it in three straight outings in 1989.

Aceves balk on Monday night came as a result of a bizarrewind-up, which looks as though he decided to pitch from fromthe stretch mid-windup.

Francona came out to argue after the balk call, but saidits something that Aceves needs to stop doing.

First of all, umpire Angel Hernandez, who ejected Francona for arguing an Aceves balk call on Friday night invited me out, which I thought wasnice, said Francona. He invited me out. That was cool. I thought he was maybelike reeling me in to throw me out.

He actually said that Alfredo was kind of going out of thewindup, and hes probably right . . . We were trying to get Aceves attentionon the first pitch, and then when he didnt call it, we thought we were okay.

Weve got to get Aceves to quit doing that. He did it inspring training, and pitching coach Curt Young talked to him. You dont want to invite, orgive somebody a chance to call something. He doesnt need to do that . . . Whenyou do things out of the ordinary, youre kind of opening up a chance forsomebody to call something.

With a third-inning single, Jacoby Ellsbury extended hishit streak to 18 games on Monday night, a stretch in which hes batting .367.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

ALCS: Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros, 8-1

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ALCS: Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros, 8-1

NEW YORK - Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and a made pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting New York's deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.

Sabathia allowed three hits over six scoreless innings for his first postseason win in five years. Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer for the Yankees, who stopped a seven-game ALCS losing streak dating to Sabathia's victory over Texas in 2010.

Sonny Gray starts Game 4 Wednesday on 11 days' rest, likely against Brad Peacock or Lance McCullers Jr.

Back in the Bronx after a pair of 2-1 losses in Houston, the Yankees led 8-0 after four innings. Houston scored on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before postseason star Jose Altuve grounded into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.

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Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

BOSTON — Brad Ausmus was the second person to interview to replace John Farrell as Red Sox manager, baseball sources confirmed Monday afternoon. The Sox are expected to interview Ron Gardenhire, the Diamondbacks' bench coach, as well.

But the net might not be cast too wide. More and more, it sounds like the Sox already know whom they want.

Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who met with Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in New York on Sunday, appears the frontrunner to take the reins next year. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal has reported that to be the case multiple times, and for some inside the Sox organization, that's a growing feeling as well.

MORE:

The criteria the Sox value most isn't hard to guess: a strong connection with players, an ability to incorporate data and analytics; and someone who can handle the market.

"I knew Alex for a couple of years before getting a chance to work with him and had tried to recruit him to work a few years ago and he had other options," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Monday in New York, before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. "To watch him develop relationships with the players, he's all about baseball. He's all about the competition and small advantages within the game, one of the brightest baseball intellects that I've been around. And to see him pass some of that on and transition from player to TV personality to coach, he's had a ton of impact.

"He challenges people. He challenges me. He's someone who's all about winning. And I think to watch our players respond to him, he's got a lot of respect in that clubhouse because of the work he puts in and the attention to detail that he brings. That's why he's the hottest managerial candidate on the planet and deservedly so."

Cora joined the Astros before this season.

Ausmus, whom Dombrowski hired in Detroit ahead of the 2014 season, grew up in Connecticut and went to Dartmouth. The 48-year-old spent 18 seasons as a big-league catcher, the last in 2010. He was working for the Padres before Dombrowski gave him his first shot at managing the Tigers. 

Ausmus went 314-332 in four years managing the Tigers, a more veteran team than might have been ideal for him as a first-time manager.

Ausmus pulled out of the running to interview with the Mets, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag while Cora was expected to interview with the Mets on Monday or Tuesday, per the New York Post's Mike Puma.

What could change from here? One baseball source indicated a second interview with Cora was expected. Asked if he plans a second round of interviews generally, Dombrowski did not say.

"We have started the interview process," Dombrowski wrote via email. "I do not have any specific time frames at this point. Will wait and evaluate as we go through the process."

The Boston Herald's Chad Jennings first reported Ausmus' interview.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE