Red Sox

Pedroia 'making positive steps'; Bradley Jr. wearing a smaller splint

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Pedroia 'making positive steps'; Bradley Jr. wearing a smaller splint

The Red Sox revealed a bit of good news on the injury front when they posted lineups for Saturday night and Eduardo Nunez was leading off and playing second base after injuring his hand on Friday night. 

Speaking to the media before the game, manager John Farrell provided updates on a pair of other injured Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Pedroia, who is trying to return from a knee injury, is progressing, but there is still no timetable for his return.

“(Pedroia) went through some early defensive work here already today,” Farrell told reporters. “We’ll go through full BP here as we’re getting ready to get on the field. So, he keeps making positive steps. Still, I don’t have a return date. But as far as the ramping up of activities and the intensity to it, that’s in the works.”

Farrell did provide good news on Jackie Bradley Jr., saying there is hope that Red Sox center fielder could be closer to a return than initially expected.

“Jackie, you know yesterday was a good day for him in terms of getting past some of the soreness and the swelling,” Farrell said. “The initiating and strengthening routine and the rehab. So, he was really encouraged and felt a lot more confident with where he was [Friday] compared to the day before even. There’s been a smaller splint that’s been applied, so that’s turning out to be hopefully on the shorter end than otherwise.

"The fact that he’s responded so favorably in the last 24 hours, there’s been a reduced size of the splint that he’s been using, where the wrist isn’t immobile, just the thumb is. So, you know, the coming days will have a lot to maybe impact his return.”

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

Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.

Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest, too, before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.

Houston has never won even a single World Series game. 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.

Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.

Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win 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.

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

CC Sabathia entered the game 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 after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.

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 struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.

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.