Red Sox

Notes: Red Sox sweep split-squad doubleheader

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Notes: Red Sox sweep split-squad doubleheader

By MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox swept their split-squad doubleheader Tuesday, beating the Astros, 3-2, at City of Palms Park, and defeating the Cardinals in Jupiter, 8-7.

At home, Josh Beckett went 3 23 innings, giving up one run on three hits with one walk with four strikeouts. Dennys Reyes earned the win pitching a scoreless eighth inning with a walk and a strikeout. Matt Fox got the save with three swinging strikeouts in the ninth. Nate Spears single in the eighth scored Paul Hoover with the winning run. Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard each pitched one scoreless inning.

In Jupiter, Stolmy Pimentel started and went 1 23 innings, giving up two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Clevelan Santeliz got the win, throwing two scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Kyle Fernandes earned the save. The Red Sox scored four runs in the eighth for the win. Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.

Outfielder Mike Cameron, who hasnt played since Thursday, said his left knee has been bothering him, but expects to serve as the designated hitter Wednesday night against the Orioles.

His left knee is a little sore, said manager Terry Francona. He has a little tendinitis. He could have played today. We just didnt think it made sense to play him today and then maybe limp for the next week. Were not in a pennant race right now so we want him to feel good.

Roger Clemens was in attendance at City of Palms Park to watch his son Koby start at first base, batting sixth, for the Astros. The father watched from a suite as his son went 0-for-4.

Asked how it felt facing the younger Clemens, Beckett replied:

"Pretty old. I've played against both of them. I don't know, I think some more of that stuff is going to happen. Cameron and them always tease me. Cameron actually came up to me today and said something about it. He said, 'Man, you're getting old, man, facing sons of guys that you've faced . . . ' "

Chris Johnson, the son of Sox first base coach Ron Johnson, started at third base for the Astros. The pair exchanged lineup cards at home plate before the game. Astros manager and former Sox bench coach Brad Mills, whose son Beau was the No. 1 pick of the Indians in 2007, enjoyed watching the family ties this afternoon.

Its fun for me, but its great for these kids, Mills said. These guys want to be able to play in front of their dads and so forth. And I think its great. Its something that I miss every now and then. I dont get to see my son much. But I think its good. Thats pretty cool.

The Red Sox 109-game spring training sellout streak, going back to March 16, 2003, ended with this game.

Due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict, todays game was a late add-on to our spring training schedule, said Katie Haas, Red Sox director of Florida operations, in a statement. We werent able to include it in the normal sales process, including season ticket renewals, and this created extra ticket inventory for this particular game. Last week we announced that some of that inventory would be used in a special promotion to show our appreciation to Lee County by providing discounted tickets to residents and fans visiting Southwest Florida.

We are glad a number of people were able to be a part of the promotion, and they came out to enjoy a game and join us in recognizing a number of Lee County nonprofits and community groups who serve those in need in the area. The Red Sox organization is extremely fortunate to have the most passionate and dedicated fans in all of sports, and we want to thank them for their incredible, sustained commitment to this team. We look forward to starting a new streak with Red Sox Nation and carrying it with us to our new spring training home in 2012.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp: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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