Red Sox

Sox drop series finale to Rays, 4-1; lead trimmed to 3 1/2 games

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Sox drop series finale to Rays, 4-1; lead trimmed to 3 1/2 games

BOSTON -- Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash went to check his phone for Hurricane Irma news as soon as he reached his office after the final out.

Wilson Ramos stood at his locker and wanted to show reporters a video on his iPhone of heavy winds swaying palm trees that a friend watching his house had sent.

The Rays had a lot on their minds as they beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.

"I think in the training room the whole day we just had the weather on, the radar," pitcher Alex Cobb said. "You're not thinking about it while you're playing, obviously, but I think every other minute of the day we've been trying to be forecasters in seeing what best possibilities we could have going into this storm for our area and for our friends and families."

"It definitely consumes a lot of your time and your emotion," he said. "I think we've done as good of a job as we could have done."

Cobb (11-9) allowed one run and four hits - all singles - and three walks in five innings. Ramos and Lucas Duda each hit a solo homer for the Rays.

"It's hard to not think about the situation," Ramos said. "We have houses over there - all our families are from Florida, too."

Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth to complete a five-hitter and earn his major-league leading 43rd save in 48 chances.

Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello was dealt his major league-leading 17th loss, the victim of poor run support once again.

Porcello (9-17) took a 1-0 lead into the fifth, when Ramos and Evan Longoria hit RBI singles. Boston has scored two runs or fewer 18 times in 30 starts while Porcello was in the game. He gave up five hits in five innings.

"In the fifth inning, obviously, there were some things I'd like to correct, but overall it wasn't bad," Porcello said.

Ramos homered in the sixth off Brandon Workman, a drive that just cleared the center field wall, and Duda went deep in the seventh against Robby Scott.

Tampa Bay stopped Boston's four-game winning streak, and the Red Sox lead over the second-place Yankees in the AL East was cut to 3 1/2 games.

Christian Vazquez hit a run-scoring single in the first for Boston.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: OF Steven Souza Jr. missed his second straight game with a bruised left knee that forced him out Friday after he ran into a wall along the right-field line. ... Ramos, Tampa Bay's catcher, took a foul tip off the top of his left foot.

Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez was sidelined with a bruised right knee sustained on a headfirst slide on Saturday. Farrell said Nunez was sore but expected back Tuesday. ... Farrell said the LHP Dave Price (left elbow inflammation) felt fine after his two-inning simulated game Saturday is likely to pitch three innings in a simulated game on Wednesday. ... Hanley Ramirez got the day off.

CLOSE ONE

Vazquez was called out by plate umpire Brian O'Nora when he tagged up and tried to score on Sam Travis' second-inning fly to right fielder Mallex Smith. The call stood on a video review, though on replays it appeared one of Vazquez's legs touched the plate before Ramos' tag.

HELPING OUT

Players of the Boston Bruins, Red Sox, Rays and Florida Panthers were at gates collecting donations for support of relief efforts that may be needed because of Irma. The Panthers are training in the area with their AHL affiliate.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (8-7, 4.58 ERA) is slated to face Yankees LHP CC Sabathia (11-5, 3.91) on Monday when the teams open a three-game series at New York's Citi Field. The series was moved from Florida to the Mets' ballpark because of Irma.

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (4-5, 4.33) is set to face LHP Sean Manaea (10-9, 4.33) when Boston opens a three-game series Tuesday against visiting Oakland. Rodriguez is 0-4 in his last 11 starts.

Scratch another Red Sox' target - Santana goes to Phillies

Scratch another Red Sox' target - Santana goes to Phillies

The Red Sox options for a power bat grew fewer and likely more expensive Friday when former Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana agreed to a three-year, $60 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Jon Heyman of FanRagSports.com and MLB Network was first to report the Santana deal, which comes as somewhat as a surprise with the rebuilding Phillies making a free-agent splash.  

The Red Sox reportedly met with Santana earlier this offseason. Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reported that the Sox offered a three-year deal to Santana that wasn't in the range of the Phillies. 

He doesn't hit for a high average (.249 career), but his combination of power and walks gives him a career OPS of .810. Last season he hit .259 with 23 homers and 79 RBI and an .818 OPS, and over his career, he has averaged 25 home runs and 85 RBI over 162 games. 

That Santana was able to command a $20-million-a-year deal from the Phillies likely raises the price of the other power bats the Sox had reportedly targeted, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer. 

 

Report: Red Sox aiming to sign both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer

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Report: Red Sox aiming to sign both J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer

While the Red Sox’ interest in free agents J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer has been well-documented, it may not be a one-or-the-other situation. 

According to the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman, Boston’s intention is to sign both Martinez and Hosmer in an effort to strengthen an offense that finished last in the American League in home runs in 2016. Though Dave Dombrowski declined to comment on any and all free agent discussions, Silverman wrote that the team’s “goal is to sign them both.” 

Martinez, 30, has seen his power numbers fluctuate throughout his career. He belted 29 homers in 62 games after getting traded to the Diamondbacks last season to finish the campaign with a career-best 45 homers between Detroit and Arizona. His previous career-high in home runs was 38, which he hit in 2015 with the Tigers. 

The 28-year-old Hosmer, who has played his entire career with the Royals since being drafted third overall by them in 2008, hit .318/.385/.498 last season with 25 homers and 94 RBI. He’s hit 25 home runs in back-to-back seasons; they are the only two seasons of his seven-year career in which he’s hit 20 or more.
 
Silverman estimates that signing both players could cost as much as a combined $450 million.