Red Sox

Red Sox notes: Youk returns to lineup


Red Sox notes: Youk returns to lineup

By Maureen Mullen Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis, who had been on the disabled list since Aug. 18 with a low back strain, was back in the lineup Friday against the Rangers, playing third and batting fourth.

No one in this clubhouse is 100 percent healthy, Youkilis said. Its September and we just go out and play the game. But I feel pretty good right now, Im just ready to play ball.

"I feel good. Can run, can throw, and I can hit. Those are the things you need to do to play the game. So, for now Im just going out there and doing it.

Manager Terry Francona was happy to have Youkilis back.

Its good," he said. "One big hitter in the middle makes everybody better.

Sometimes its a forced break because of one thing helps the rest of your body. He was so beat up, he was hitting balls off both ankles and the way he attacks first base when he runs over it. I just think . . . Im sure he doesnt feel like its the first game of the year but I think it'll do him some good.

Youkilis went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the game.

With Tim Wakefield not scheduled to start again until Wednesday in Toronto, the Sox had him ready in the bullpen if the need arose. And it arose Friday night, when he threw four scoreless relief innings -- his longest relief outing since going 5 13 innings on May 11, 2002, inSeattle -- after the score got to be 10-0.

The Sox two hits match a season low. They alsohad just two hits on June 28 in Philadelphia, a complete-game shutout by cliffLee.

The Sox were shutout for the 10thtime this season, the most since 11 shutouts in 1992. The 10-0 loss to theRangers matches their largest shutout loss to Texas, with a 10-0 loss on April27, 1981, in Texas.

Michael Bowden had a career-high five strikeoutsin 2 23 innings, the most by a Sox reliever since Scott Atchisons fivestrikeouts on June 18, 2010, against the Dodgers. He struck out the side inorder for the second time in his career in the third inning.

Carl Crawford was a game-time scratch because ofillness. Conor Jackson took his place in left field, making his Red Sox debut, and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

David Ortiz went 0-for-3, snapping a season-high15-game hitting streak.

Ian Kinsler has a 16-game hitting streak againstthe Sox, going 21-for-63 (.333) witheight home runs and 13 RBI since July 21, 2009.It is the second-longest in Rangers history, behind Rafael Palmeiros19-gamer from April 28, 1989. June 30, 1990.
The Rangers tied a team record with their 17th shutout(also in 1977). Their 12 road shutouts are the most in the majors since theBraves 12 in 1998.

Since Aug. 1, Matt Albers has pitched 12 23innings over 12 games, giving up 19 earned runs, for a 13.50 ERA. He hasallowed 8 walks, with 11 strikeouts and 4 home runs, and has given up runs in 8 of his 12 outings.

Former Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre is twohits away from 2,000 in his career.

With Eric Bedard scheduled to start Saturday, itwill be the first time the Sox have started three straight left-handers sinceMay 18 20, 1995, when Vaughn Eshelman, Zane Smith, and Rheal Cormier started.The Sox went 1-2 in those games.

The crowd of 38,083 was the 700thconsecutive sellout at Fenway Park, dating back to May 15, 2003. The Sox had previouslyset the major league record on Sept. 8, 2008, with their 456thstraight sellout.

I actually think its really cool, maybe more cool than most people, Francona said. Ive been in places where theres been apathy and theres nothing worse than that. You come here on Sunday day game after a Saturday night game, the place is always full. I kid a lot about the hot dog races and stuff. We dont do that here. Baseballs good enough and I really like that. I think this is one of the really truly special things about being here is I hope this streak goes on for a while.

Is nice to play in front of people who care so much, of course.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

ALCS: Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros, 8-1


ALCS: Judge, Sabathia help Yankees beat Astros, 8-1

NEW YORK - Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and a made pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting New York's deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.

Sabathia allowed three hits over six scoreless innings for his first postseason win in five years. Todd Frazier hit a go-ahead, three-run homer for the Yankees, who stopped a seven-game ALCS losing streak dating to Sabathia's victory over Texas in 2010.

Sonny Gray starts Game 4 Wednesday on 11 days' rest, likely against Brad Peacock or Lance McCullers Jr.

Back in the Bronx after a pair of 2-1 losses in Houston, the Yankees led 8-0 after four innings. Houston scored on a bases-loaded walk in the ninth before postseason star Jose Altuve grounded into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded.


Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

Brad Ausmus interviews with Red Sox, but Alex Cora appears frontrunner

BOSTON — Brad Ausmus was the second person to interview to replace John Farrell as Red Sox manager, baseball sources confirmed Monday afternoon. The Sox are expected to interview Ron Gardenhire, the Diamondbacks' bench coach, as well.

But the net might not be cast too wide. More and more, it sounds like the Sox already know whom they want.

Astros bench coach Alex Cora, who met with Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in New York on Sunday, appears the frontrunner to take the reins next year. The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal has reported that to be the case multiple times, and for some inside the Sox organization, that's a growing feeling as well.


The criteria the Sox value most isn't hard to guess: a strong connection with players, an ability to incorporate data and analytics; and someone who can handle the market.

"I knew Alex for a couple of years before getting a chance to work with him and had tried to recruit him to work a few years ago and he had other options," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Monday in New York, before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees. "To watch him develop relationships with the players, he's all about baseball. He's all about the competition and small advantages within the game, one of the brightest baseball intellects that I've been around. And to see him pass some of that on and transition from player to TV personality to coach, he's had a ton of impact.

"He challenges people. He challenges me. He's someone who's all about winning. And I think to watch our players respond to him, he's got a lot of respect in that clubhouse because of the work he puts in and the attention to detail that he brings. That's why he's the hottest managerial candidate on the planet and deservedly so."

Cora joined the Astros before this season.

Ausmus, whom Dombrowski hired in Detroit ahead of the 2014 season, grew up in Connecticut and went to Dartmouth. The 48-year-old spent 18 seasons as a big-league catcher, the last in 2010. He was working for the Padres before Dombrowski gave him his first shot at managing the Tigers. 

Ausmus went 314-332 in four years managing the Tigers, a more veteran team than might have been ideal for him as a first-time manager.

Ausmus pulled out of the running to interview with the Mets, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag while Cora was expected to interview with the Mets on Monday or Tuesday, per the New York Post's Mike Puma.

What could change from here? One baseball source indicated a second interview with Cora was expected. Asked if he plans a second round of interviews generally, Dombrowski did not say.

"We have started the interview process," Dombrowski wrote via email. "I do not have any specific time frames at this point. Will wait and evaluate as we go through the process."

The Boston Herald's Chad Jennings first reported Ausmus' interview.