Red Sox

Red Sox notes: Aviles channels his power

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Red Sox notes: Aviles channels his power

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Mike Aviles first home run in a Red Sox uniform came at a very good time. With two outs in the fourth and the score tied, he hit a solo blast off James Shields over the Monster in left field, giving the Sox the 4-3 lead that would hold as the final score.

It was a changeup that stayed up a little bit and I was fortunate to get the barrel on it, Aviles said. Its definitely great. The fans here are awesome. Theyre into every pitch so any time you can contribute its always great. I enjoy coming out every night because I can feed off the energy.

It was his sixth home run of the season, and first since May 1, while with the Royals against the Twins.

The Sox win snapped their longest-ever losing streak to the Rays and the Rays longest-ever win streak over the Sox at six games.

Sox pitchers had a total of 15 strikeouts, their most in a nine-inning game since April 28, 2010, in Toronto. They recorded their last eight outs of the game, and 10 of their last 12, on strikeouts.

Jonathan Papelbon earned his 30th save of the season with a scoreless ninth, becoming the first pitcher to reach that mark in each of his first six full big league seasons. He extended his scoreless-innings streak to 22, the longest of his career, over 21 games. In that stretch he has allowed just five hits, all singles, with two walks and 28 strikeouts.

The Sox had gone 25 games without a save since Aug. 19 in Kansas City. Since 1988, the Sox have had only one other streak of that length without a save, 25 games from June 15 July 15, 2004.

David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. in his last 21 games he is batting .413 (31-for-75) with eight doubles, five home runs, and 15 RBI.

The Rays went 7-for-7 in stolen bases against the Sox. It is the most the Sox have allowed since giving up nine on April 20, 2010, against the Rangers. It is the second-most in a game the Rays have stolen since eight on May 3, 2009, in Tampa Bay against the Sox. Carl Crawford had six of those eight stolen bases.

Majority of them werewhen Beckett lifted his leg, Francona said. We felt like well sacrifice the stolen base to keep the ball in the ballpark.

The Red Sox announced Friday that Kevin Youkilis, already out of Friday's lineup, will not play Saturday, either.

Youkilis, suffering from bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia, is batting only .150 (6-for-40) since coming off the disabled list. He's been playing through pain and stiffness, and the Sox announced after Thursday's loss to the Rays that he'd be given Friday off.

Now he's been ruled out of Saturday's game, as well.

Hes pretty sore, Francona said. i think we kind of knew that Thursday night. Hes certainly not going to play Friday and he wont play Saturday. Were going to have to let this thing calm down a little bit and then well go from there. Thats probably not a lot of news but thats where we are with him so how much, when we get out of him will be determined by how quickly he recovers, how everything feels because last night he didnt feel very good and I think it was pretty obvious.

Just the way he feels physically. As he gets into the game, and theres certainly come standing around in the game, which inevitably happens, just getting stiff and sore, but anything rotational or diving, just about anything you would do on the field to try be productive, is getting harder for him.

Clay Buchholz is still expected to throw a bullpen session on Saturday.

John Lackey is expected to start one of the games of Mondays doubleheader against the Orioles at Fenway Park. It is not yet known who will start the other game. Kyle Weiland, who started Thursday against the Rays, is expected to start Tuesday against the Os.

We thought about bringing him back because he didnt go very long Thursday but we still need a pitcher for one of those days, anyway, so it makes sense to keep him on his day, Francona said. I dont think we can name somebody yet just because it may depend on how we get there, who we use. Certainly with the call-ups its not as critical if somebody goes six innings. So it may depend on how we get there.

Alfredo Aceves would be in consideration, except for his value in the role he currently fills.

If you're going to start him, and I dont doubt he would do really well, I think he could handle five innings and probably do pretty well, but then you're losing him for three days beforehand and three days after, Francona said. And right now I dont think that makes us a better team.

The Sox will hold Fan Appreciation Series Saturday through Wednesday and will include seat upgrades, giveaways, discounted concessions and souvenirs, and special experiences like an inning inside the Green Monster.

Those attending the 1:05 p.m. game on Monday, will have the chance to enter a special contest online. Since many of these tickets have been held for months by fans since the rainout on May 17, the Red Sox wanted to reward their wait with the Golden Seat Sweepstakes. Five ticketholders for this game will be randomly selected as the Red Sox Golden Seat winners. The five Golden Seat Prizes include: an autographed Jon Lester jersey and baseball; autographed Adrian Gonzalez baseball and bat; and upgrades and experiences for up to four people, including Green Monster seats, lunch in the EMC Club, and the opportunity to watch an inning of the game inside the Green Monster. To be eligible to win, fans must enter their ticket information online atredsox.comgoldenseatand make sure they are in their seats at the beginning of the day game on Monday.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

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.