Red Sox

Red Sox explode at the plate to sweep M's, 12-8

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Red Sox explode at the plate to sweep M's, 12-8

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BOSTON -- It doesn't take much to beat the Seattle Mariners these days, but just in case, the Red Sox pounded out 17 hits and gained a 12-8 win over the slumping Mariners, who lost for the 15th straight time.

A grand slam by Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan in the seventh made the final score seem respectable -- and chased starter Tim Wakefield. But the game had long since been decided.

Wakefield gave up seven runs in 6 13 innings but not before recording his 199th career win and notching his 2,000th strikeout as a member of the Red Sox. He received a long standing ovation after fanning Mike Carp for the final out in the sixth.

The Mariners grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Red Sox quickly answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning and pulled away with five more in the their half of the fifth.

Every Red Sox starter except Marco Scutaro collected at least one hit, with Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each getting three hits. Saltalamacchia had four RBI.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Josh Reddick and David Ortiz had two hits each.

Alfredo Aceves pitched the final 2 23 innings, giving up one run.

While the Mariners' freefall continued, the Red Sox won for the 17th time in their last 20 games.

STAR OF THE GAME: Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Saltalamacchia collected three hits -- one of three Red Sox players to do so -- and added four RBI.

He provided a two-run single in the five-run first for Boston, then added a two-run single in the fifth when the Red Sox added another five-run frame. The four RBI represented a season high for the catcher, who is hitting .438 over his last seven games.

HONORABLE MENTION: Carl Crawford
Crawford lifted his average to a season-high .254 with a two-hit game while knocking in two runs.

Crawford came off the DL Monday in Baltimore and is 9-for-24 since returning to the lineup.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Michael Pineda

The Mariners said after the game that their rookie pitcher may have been tipping pitchers; it certainly looked like the Red Sox knew what was coming, especially in the first when everything they hit off him was a rocket.

He lasted 4 13 innings and was charged with seven runs.

TURNING POINT: In the fifth inning, the Red Sox were leading 5-3 with one out and the bases loaded.

Crawford's two-run single to left scored two and two batters later, chased Pineda from the game.

BY THE NUMBERS: While the Mariners have lost 15 straight, the Red Sox have nine in a row at home and 17 of the last 20 overall.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "This is the best lineup I've ever played for here. It's pretty solid one through nine.'' --Tim Wakefield.

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

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.