Red Sox

Notes: Scutaro an unlikely hero versus Yankees

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Notes: Scutaro an unlikely hero versus Yankees

By SeanMcAdam and MaureenMullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON -- In a convincing 4-0 victory over the New York Yankees Sunday, the offensive star was an unlikely one.

Shortstop Marco Scutaro came into the game with just 3 hits in 21 at-bats and sat out Saturday while Terry Francona gave a start at short to Jed Lowrie.

Scutaro worked two walks off CC Sabathia in his first two plate appearances, but the heroics took place in the seventh against reliever Joba Chamberlain.

Scutaro came to the plate with bases loaded and one out in the seventh and the Sox clinging to a 1-0 lead. He promptly drove a pitch from Chamberlain into the corner in left, upping the Sox' lead to 3-0.

"I was just trying to look for a pitch I could handle,'' said Scutaro. "The first pitch was a slider, it was kind of down and away. Then I was just looking for a fastball, a pitch I can at least hit a fly ball on or something.''

After a slow start offensively, Scutaro was relieved to make a contribution.

"It's nice, especially with the situation we're in right now,'' he said. "We're just trying to get out of this slump. so it's always nice when you come through like that. It feels good.

"We wanted to score a couple more runs for Josh Beckett. He was throwing the ball so good, and we wanted a couple more so he could relax a little bit.''

Francona on Dustin Pedroia, who went 9-for-13 in the series:

I think he almost wills himself to help us win.

The Red Sox shut out the Yankees for the first time since a 7-0 Beckett win win in June 9, 2009 at Fenway.

Red Sox pitchers last held the Yankees to two hits on Sept. 10, 1999 at Yankee Stadium, and last did it at Fenway Park on June 7, 1990.

The Red Sox busted out for a season-high 12 hits, but also left 16 runners on base. They left at least one runner on base in every inning.

We got a lot of hits and we also left a lot of men on base, manager Terry Francona said. Some of thats CC Sabathia. Hes not only good . . . but hes a very intelligent pitcher. He knows who he wants to face, maybe who he wants to pitch around. Hes very good about that. We have left some men on. Fortunately the way Beckett pitched, it didnt matter tonight.

J.D. Drew has reached safely in all seven games hes played this season, including hitting in six straight. He is 7-for-20 (.350) in that stretch.

The game marked the first time neither team hit a home run in a game between the Red Sox and Yankees since April 26, 2009.

At 2:56 it was the shortest game between the Red Sox and Yankees at Fenway Park since a 2:49 game on April 12, 2008, a 4-3 Red Sox win.

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

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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