Red Sox

Notes: Lowrie (shoulder) will not have surgery

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Notes: Lowrie (shoulder) will not have surgery

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
BOSTON -- Shortstop Jed Lowrie visited Dr. Lewis Youcum Wednesday in Los Angeles, seeking a second opinion on his bruised left shoulder which has bothered him for more than three weeks.

Lowrie came out of last Thursday's game in Tampa Bay during an at-bat in which he felt the shoulder pop out of joint and was placed on the disabled list the following day.

Yocum agreed with the diagnosis provided by the Red Sox' medical staff -- that Lowrie was suffering from a left shoulder strain -- and that surgery was unnecessary.

Lowrie had been frustrated that, even before the incident at Tropicana Field, the shoulder was not getting much better. It now seems, however, that rest and a strengthening program are the best route to a return to the lineup.

The Red Sox offense only scored one run on Wednesday afternoon, but that didnt mean everybody was slacking. Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis each had multihit games, with Gonzalez finishing 4-for-4 with an RBI.

It was Gonzalez third game this season with at least four hits.

Hes a monster, man, said David Ortiz after Bostons 5-1 loss to San Diego on Wednesday. Hes something special, very special. This is one of a kind. Kind of guy that makes it looks so easy. He has that great swing. His approach is unbelievable. Hes a smart hitter. He knows where to hit the ball. Not like me, I hit rockets right at people.

Ortiz didnt have a very good offensive day, going 0-for-3, and stranding seven of the Red Sox 10 runners left on base.

Padres starter Clayton Richard wasnt anything crazy, said Ortiz. We were hitting rockets right at people. Not much can you do about it.

Shortstop Marco Scutaro was a last-minute scratch on Wednesday afternoon because of an illness. Red Sox manager Terry Francona pretty much considered him day-to-day after the loss.

Hes a little better, said Francona after the loss. Hes just not feeling real well. We got him out of there maybe a half hour, 20 minutes before the game.

We dont play tomorrow. He wont miss a game tomorrow, and well go from there.

Drew Sutton played in Scutaro's place and went 0-for-2 with an error.

Its not easy, said Sutton. Basically going into it blind against the opposing pitcher. When you know youre playing you have time to look at a pitcher and see what hes doing. Its tough to do, but thats the role. Thats kind of what youve got to do.

Francona said there hasnt been much improvement on Josh Beckett's illness, throwing into question his scheduled weekend start. He's already missed one start, Tuesday night, because of the sickness.

Francona called the ailment good old fashioned case of the flu". As of Wednesdaymorning, the Red Sox manager had no timetable for when Beckett will shake off theillness.

Hes really sick, Francona said. The doctors are trying tofigure it out. I have not seen him this morning. He wasnt good yesterday.

Because its the off-day on Thursday, were actually okay.There are some either-ors. Andrew Miller will throw maybe a little shorter side today,just in case he has to pitch Sunday instead of Monday.

Red Sox reliever Bobby Jenks (back) will throw anotherside session on Thursday. He threw 20 pitches on Tuesday, and will throw alittle more than that during the off-day.

He is making really rapid steps the last three or fourdays, which is great, said Francona.

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

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

NLCS: Dodgers win first pennant since 1988 with 11-1 Game 5 rout of Cubs

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NLCS: Dodgers win first pennant since 1988 with 11-1 Game 5 rout of Cubs

CHICAGO -- Enrique Hernandez put a Hollywood ending on an LA story three decades in the making.

Fueled by a home run trilogy from their emotional utilityman, Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers are finally going to the World Series.

Hernandez homered three times and drove in a record seven runs, Kershaw breezed through six crisp innings and Los Angeles ended the Chicago Cubs' title defense with an 11-1 rout in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series on Thursday night.

"It feels good to hear World Series," Kershaw said. "It's been a long time coming for this team."

After years of playoff heartache, there was just no stopping these Dodgers after they led the majors with 104 wins during the regular season. With Kershaw firing away at the top of a deep pitching staff and co-NLCS MVPs Justin Turner and Chris Taylor leading a tough lineup, one of baseball's most storied franchises captured its first pennant since Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda managed Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Co. to Los Angeles' last championship in 1988.

"Every night it is a different guy," Turner said, "and this is one of the most unbelievable teams I've ever been a part of."

Kershaw will be on the mound again when the Dodgers host the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night. The Yankees have a 3-2 lead heading into Game 6 of the ALCS at Houston on Friday night, so one more New York win would set up another chapter in an old October rivalry between the Yankees and Dodgers.

Los Angeles made the playoffs eight times in the previous 13 seasons and came up short of its 22nd pennant each time, often with Kershaw shouldering much of the blame. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner took the loss when his team was eliminated by the Cubs in Game 6 of last year's NLCS at Wrigley Field.

The ace left-hander was just OK during his first two starts in this year's postseason, but Los Angeles' offense picked him up each time. Backed by Hernandez's powerful show in Chicago, Kershaw turned in an efficient three-hit performance with five strikeouts and improved to 6-7 in the playoffs - matching Burt Hooton's club record for postseason wins.

"To get to be on the mound tonight and get to be going to the World Series on the same night, it's a special thing," Kershaw said. "Who knows how many times I'm going to get to go to the World Series? I know more than anybody how hard it is to get there. So, I'm definitely not taking this one for granted."

When Kenley Jansen retired Willson Contreras on a liner to shortstop for the final out, the party was on . The Dodgers poured out of the dugout and mobbed their dominant closer near the mound, and a small but vocal group of Los Angeles fans gathered behind the visitors' dugout and chanted "Let's go Dodgers! Let's go Dodgers!"

On the field, manager Dave Roberts hugged Lasorda and told the iconic skipper the win was for him.

"I bleed Dodger blue just like you," Roberts said. "Thank you, Tommy."

Hernandez connected on the first two pitches he saw, belting a solo drive in the second for his first career playoff homer and then a grand slam in the third against Hector Rondon. Hernandez added a two-run shot in the ninth against Mike Montgomery.

The 26-year-old Hernandez became the fourth player with a three-homer game in a league championship series, joining Bob Robertson (1971 NLCS), George Brett (1978 ALCS) and Adam Kennedy (2002 ALCS). Hernandez's seven RBIs tied a postseason record shared by four other players who all did it in a Division Series.

Troy O'Leary was the previous player to have seven RBIs in a playoff game, for Boston at Cleveland in the 1999 ALDS.

It was a stunning display for a player with 28 career homers who remains concerned about his native Puerto Rico, which is recovering from a devastating hurricane. He delivered a historic performance in front of his father, Enrique Hernandez Sr., who was diagnosed with a blood cancer related to leukemia in December 2015, but got word last November that he was in remission.

"For me to be able to come here and do something like this is pretty special," said Hernandez, who also goes by Kik�. "My body's here, but my mind's kind of back home. It's hard being away from home with what's going on.

"All I want to do right now is go to my dad and give him a big hug."

Kris Bryant homered for Chicago, but the NL Central champions finished with just four hits in another tough night at the plate. Each of their eight runs in the NLCS came via the long ball, and they batted just .156 for the series with 53 strikeouts.

Long playoff runs in each of the last two years and a grueling five-game Division Series against Washington seemed to sap Chicago of some energy, and its pitching faltered against sweet-swinging Los Angeles. Jose Quintana was pulled in the third inning of the final game, and the Cubs never recovered.

"They executed their plan," Bryant said. "They pitched great and the bullpen was lights out. That makes for a tough time scoring runs."

Turner and Taylor helped put it away for Los Angeles, contributing to a 16-hit outburst while closing out a pair of impressive performances.

Turner singled home Taylor in the Dodgers' five-run third, giving him seven RBIs in the series and 24 throughout his postseason career. Taylor finished with two hits and scored two runs as the Dodgers, who have won five straight NL West titles, improved to 7-1 in this postseason.

Taylor's versatility helped Los Angeles cover for the loss of All-Star shortstop Corey Seager, who missed the series with a back injury, but is expected to return in the next round. Coming off a breakout season, the 27-year-old Taylor hit .316 with two homers and scored five times against the Cubs.

"I couldn't be happier to be a part of this and be with these guys," Taylor said. "It's been an unbelievable year, and I'm just super excited."

OUT WITH A BANG

Hernandez joined Kennedy (2002), Adrian Beltre (2011), Reggie Jackson (1977 vs. the Dodgers) and Babe Ruth (1928) as players to hit three home runs in a postseason series clincher.

LIGHTS OUT

Dodgers relievers have thrown 23 consecutive scoreless innings, a postseason record.