Red Sox

Notes: Pedroia, Ellsbury step up in win over Jays

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Notes: Pedroia, Ellsbury step up in win over Jays

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury nearly delivered Tim Wakefields 200th win by themselves.

The Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in the Red Sox lineup went a combined 8-for-10 with eight runs scored, eight RBI, three doubles, three home runs, and a walk Tuesday night in Boston's 18-6 rout of the Blue Jays. Their back-to-back home runs in fourth inning marked the 10th time Sox batters have hit consecutive home runs this season.

Pedroia, who went 4-for-5 with two home runs, had the third multi-home run game of his career, and first since he hit three on June 24, 2010, in Colorado. He matched a career high with five RBI (for the fourth time) and four extra-base hits (third time) the first for both since that game in Colorado.

His two home runs gave him 20 for the season, the first time in his career he has reached that milestone and becomes the seventh Sox player with at least 20 home runs and 20 steals (he has 25) in a season. With Ellsbury, they are the first pair of Sox batters to do so in one season.

I was just trying to have a good game and help us win, he said. Its been, the last couple of weeks, its been tough. Weve had a tough schedule. We havent got much sleep. But were at the time of the year where we all need to step up together and play wining baseball. We played great tonight but tomorrow we got to come out and find a way to win. And thats basically it. Its getting close and we got to figure it out.

The win was desperately needed. The Sox had lost five in a row, six of seven on the recent road trip, and seven of eight.

Every wins big, he said "Were going to come out and play every day like its Game 7 from here on out. We have to. We got a great group of guys, very talented, but if we dont play together were not going to be very good. So we got to make sure we do that.

Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 17 games. He is hitting .384 (28-for-73) with 11 doubles, a triple, four home runs, 13 RBI, 15 runs scored, and nine walks in that stretch. He went 4-for-5 with a home run, four runs scored, and three RBI, tying a career high for the seventh time in hits, and for the for the second time in runs scored. He has 190 hits for the season, a new career high.

The home run was over the Wall in left field, just the second time in his career hes hit an opposite-field home run.

Hes gotten stronger, hes grown into his body, said manager Terry Francona. He understands his swing. Now those base hits to left field are turning into doubles and some of them home runs.

David Ortiz was a game-time scratch because of back spasms.

Francona said Josh Beckett, who has been sidelined by sprained ankle suffered in his last start, would likely start Friday against the Rays at Fenway, but thats not exactly set in stone.

Thursdays starter for the opener of the four-game set with the Rays is still not known.

Josh Reddick extended his career-high hit streak to nine games.

Jarrod Saltalamacchias four RBI matched a season-high set July 24 in Wakefields previous win.

Marco Scutaro went 2-for-3 with two RBI, a run, and a walk. His seventh-inning double was the 1,000th hit of his career. He has 15 RBI in his last nine games, in which he is batting .471 (16-for-34).

With 18 hits, the Sox reached that mark for sixth time this season and are 6-0 in those games.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

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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