Red Sox

Orioles take advantage of Red Sox errors in 16-3 rout

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Orioles take advantage of Red Sox errors in 16-3 rout

BOSTON -- Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter would like to be back at Fenway Park to play games in October.

If his team can keep scoring runs like it has the last two games, he might just get his wish.

Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis had home runs, and the Baltimore Orioles used a seven-run fifth inning to power past the Boston Red Sox 16-3 on Friday night.

The 16 runs is a season-high for the Orioles, who have won three out their last four as they try to stay in the mix for one of the American League's wild-card spots. Trey Mancini led Baltimore with four RBIs.

Boston lost two straight for the first time in a month as injuries continued to mount for the AL East leaders. And once again, a slide by Orioles star Manny Machado hurt a Red Sox second baseman.

Two nights after losing center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to a sprained thumb, utilityman Eduardo Nunez exited in the second inning with a left wrist and thumb sprain after he was brushed by Machado on a hard slide into second. X-rays were negative, and he is day-to-day.

Earlier this year, a late slide by Machado injured Red Sox star second baseman Dustin Pedroia's knee, hobbling him for much of the season.

Jeremy Hellickson (8-7) allowed four hits and three runs over seven innings to pick up his second win in an Orioles uniform.

"Probably scored too many runs, actually," Hellickson said of the run support. "(By the) fifth inning I felt like I haven't thrown the whole game. You can't say enough about this offense."

With the loss Rick Porcello (8-15) snapped a string of four straight wins, surrendering a career-high 11 runs off nine hits before getting pulled in the fifth.

Boston's defense also struggled, committing a season-high five errors. The 16 runs tied the most allowed this season by the Red Sox.

"It seemed like every pitch we threw over the plate they squared up," manager John Farrell said.

Things fell apart early for Porcello, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, who looked to be turning a corner after a poor start to 2017.

He gave up five runs off five hits in the first two innings, including the home run to Trumbo, to go along with a throwing error and a wild pitch.

"You saw it. I threw it. They hit it," Porcello said.

Porcello has given up 31 home runs this season, the most by a Red Sox pitcher since Josh Beckett surrendered 36 in 2006.

Meanwhile, Baltimore has scored 24 runs over its last two games.

BACK IN BOSTON

Orioles star Adam Jones played for the first time at Fenway Park since a tense series in early May during which he was the target of racial taunts by fans. The Red Sox organization apologized to Jones, and the center fielder was later given a standing ovation by the Boston crowd.

Before the game Jones declined to discuss his thoughts about the incident coming back for this latest visit. He also had no comment on Red Sox owner John Henry saying he would ask the city to rename Yawkey Way, the street alongside Fenway Park, to change what Henry called a haunting reminder of the ballclub's history of racial intolerance.

PITCHING IN

With the game well out of hand, first baseman Mitch Moreland came on to pitch the ninth inning for the Red Sox. He was the final Boston pitcher of the night. He faced four batters and struck out one. His final pitch of the night registered 94 mph on the scoreboard, but Moreland was skeptical.

"They might have juiced it up a little bit," he said.

RUNNING IT UP

Boston hasn't given up 13 runs in consecutive games since 2006, when it gave up 39 over a three-game stretch to the New York Yankees.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: LHP Zach Britton said before the game that an MRI on his sore left knee revealed that it is "not anything serious," adding that it is structurally in good shape. Showalter wouldn't say when his closer might pitch again, but added "very soon I hope."

Red Sox: Mookie Betts was back in the lineup Friday, a night after leaving in the seventh inning of Boston's loss at Cleveland with a bruised right knee after a diving catch attempt. ... Farrell said Bradley (left thumb sprain) is showing improvement and doing strengthening activity. Dustin Pedroia (left knee swelling) is taking batting practice again, and David Price (left elbow sprain) had advanced to throwing at 120 feet

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Kevin Gausman (9-9, 5.25 ERA) is making his 28th start of the season. He has taken losses in both of his starts against Boston in 2017.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 4.01) has a 3.25 ERA in his last four starts, while limiting opponents to a .205 batting average.

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

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Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve embraced Justin Verlander as confetti rained down. An improbable thought just a few years ago, the Houston Astros are headed to the World Series.

Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers Jr. combined on a three-hitter, Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Astros reached the World Series for only the second time by blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles opened as a narrow favorite, but Verlander, the ALCS MVP , and fellow Houston ace Dallas Keuchel will have plenty of rest before the World Series begins at sweltering Dodger Stadium.

"I love our personality," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We have the right amount of fun, the right amount of seriousness, the right amount of perspective when we need it. This is a very, very unique group. To win 100 games and still be hungry is pretty remarkable."

The Astros will try for their first World Series title, thanks in large part to Altuve , the diminutive second baseman who swings a potent bat, and Verlander, who switched teams for the first time in his career to chase a ring.

Four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees on consecutive nights after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.

Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first crown, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

"This city, they deserve this," McCullers said.

Clutch defensive plays by third baseman Alex Bregman and center fielder George Springer helped Houston improve to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and become the fifth team in major league history to capture a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.

Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four. A noted curveballer, McCullers finished up with 24 straight breaking pitches to earn his first major league save.

Combined, they throttled the wild-card Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron JudgeGary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

"I know people are going to talk about how we didn't win many games on the road. There were some other teams that haven't won many games on the road, either. We just happened to run into a very good team that just beat us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

The Astros also eliminated New York in the 2015 postseason, with Keuchel winning the AL wild-card game at Yankee Stadium.

CC Sabathia entered 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.

Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double. He snapped an 0-for-20 skid with an RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night in a 7-1 win.

The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York went 1-6 on the road this postseason.

After going 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, the Astros got on the board with no outs in the fourth with the 405-foot shot by Gattis.

Altuve launched a ball off Tommy Kahnle into the seats in right field with one out in the fifth for his fifth homer this postseason. It took a while for him to see that it was going to get out, and held onto his bat until he was halfway to first base before flipping it and trotting around the bases as chants of "MVP" rained down on him.

Altuve finished 8 for 25 with two homers and four RBIs in the ALCS after hitting .533 with three homers and four RBIs in the ALDS against Boston.

Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles before Kahnle struck out Gattis. McCann's two-strike double, which rolled into the corner of right field, cleared the bases to push the lead to 4-0. Gurriel slid to avoid the tag and remained on his belly in a swimming pose at the plate for a few seconds after he was called safe.

It was just the second Game 7 in franchise history for the Astros, who lost to the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS exactly 13 years earlier.

Sabathia allowed five hits and one run while walking three in 3 1/3 innings. He wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in a Game 3 win and just 36 of the 65 pitches he threw were strikes.

Morton got into trouble in the fifth, and the Yankees had runners at the corners with one out. Bregman fielded a grounder hit by Todd Frazier and made a perfect throw home to allow McCann to tag Greg Bird and preserve Houston's lead. McCann held onto the ball despite Bird's cleat banging into his forearm. Chase Headley grounded out after that to end the inning.

A night after Springer kept Frazier from extra-bases with a leaping catch, Judge returned the favor on a ball hit by Yuli Gurriel. Judge sprinted, jumped and reached into the stands to grab his long fly ball before crashing into the wall and falling to the ground for the first out of the second inning.

Springer had another nifty catch in this one, jumping in front of Marwin Gonzalez at the wall in left-center to grab a ball hit by Bird for the first out of the seventh.

With McCullers in charge, the Astros soon closed it out.

"It's not easy to get here. And I don't take any of this for granted. And this is what we play for," Verlander said. "These are the experiences that you remember at the end of your career when you look back, winning these games, just playing the World Series. Hopefully winning the World Series."

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Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

Red Sox reportedly make offer to Cora

UPDATE: The deal is for three years, per Ken Rosenthal.

BOSTON — We’re just waiting on an announcement now.

A pair of national reports on Saturday afternoon, one from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal... 

...And another from MLB Network and FanRagSports.com's Jon Heyman...

have firmed up Alex Cora’s expected hiring as Red Sox manager. Both reported that Cora, the Astros bench coach, is expected to take the job once Houston's season ends, which could come as soon as Saturday night after Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. 

Heyman reported a contract offer has already been made to Cora. 

A baseball source said this week that there was “not a doubt” Cora, the Astros bench coach, would wind up with the Red Sox gig. It’s unclear when exactly the offer was made to him, but one had not been made as of midday Wednesday, the source said. 

Cora, 41, a former Red Sox infielder (2005-08) who's also worked in the media and is the most sought-after managerial candidate at the moment, appeared the front-runner since the outset of what proved a small search for the Red Sox.

Earlier, Boston Globe reported that the Washington Nationals were interested in Cora after they fired Dusty Baker on Friday.