Red Sox

Red Sox fail to hold lead, fall to Angels 14-13 in extra innings

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Red Sox fail to hold lead, fall to Angels 14-13 in extra innings

BOSTON For a short time Thursday night, it appeared as though the Red Sox had somehow found a way to overcome what was arguably the single ugliest inning of their season to beat the Angels. Instead, that eight-run third inning was just part of one of the ugliest games in what has been a very ugly season for the Red Sox.The Sox fell to the Angels, 14-13, in 10 innings, suffering the three-game sweep. The Sox have lost four in a row and seven of their last nine.With the loss, they fall to seven games below .500 at 59-66, matching their low point of the season, on May 10.Alfredo Aceves took the loss, and was also charged with his seventh blown save of the season. With the Sox leading by two runs going into the ninth, Aceves gave up three runs. The Sox got a run in the bottom of the inning to tie the game, but Aceves came back out to start the 10th and gave up two more runs. Aceves went one inning (plus two batters in the 10th), giving up five runs on six hits and a walk with one strikeout and two home runs.The Sox used eight pitchers in the game. Andrew Bailey, making his Fenway debut, was also charged with a blown save.The Sox took a six-run lead into the third inning, but gave it all up and then some. After scoring a run in the first and five in the second capped by Dustin Pedroias three-run home run left-hander Franklin Morales entered the third inning, leading 6-0. Morales couldnt get out of the inning, though.The Angels sent 13 batters to the plate in the third. Eight of them scored a season-high runs allowed in one inning by the Red Sox on seven hits (one shy of a season-high for one inning), three walks, and an error.The Sox needed three pitchers to get through the inning. Morales faced eight batters, but could only record two outs. Clayton Mortensen faced four batters without recording an out. Junichi Tazawa needed just one pitch to get Howie Kendrick to ground out, ending the inning. Mercifully.Morales went 2 23 innings, giving up six runs (just two earned) on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Mortensen faced four batters, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.But the Sox scored a run in the fifth and two in the sixth, including a solo home run by Mike Aviles, taking a 9-8 lead.But in the seventh, Bailey gave up a run, getting charged with a blown save, as the Angels tied the game.The Sox again took the lead in the eighth. With two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury's single to right scored Scott Podsednik, who singled, sending Pedro Ciriaco, who also singled, to third. Pedroias chopper toward third base scored Ciriaco.Ernesto Frieri pitched the final two innings for the Angels. He earned the win, but was also charged with a blown save after giving up a home run to Cody Ross leading off the ninth to tie the score.The Sox added a run in bottom of the 10th, when Ciriaco singled, went to second on defensive indifference and scored on Pedroias single to right. It was Pedroias fifth RBI of the game.Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson started the game. He went five innings, giving up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits (no walks), with six strikeouts and a home run. He is winless in his last 11 starts, going 0-5.

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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