Red Sox

Ross makes amends with four-RBI game

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Ross makes amends with four-RBI game

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Cody Ross felt somewhat responsible for the Red Sox loss in the series opener at Tropicana Field Wednesday night.
Thursday night, he made amends.
Ross, who had trouble picking up a routine fly ball from the dome's roof and wasn't in position to make a strong throw to the plate as the go-ahead run scored in Wednesday's 2-1 loss, drove in all but one of the team's run in a 5-3 victory Thursday.
He walked walked with the bases loaded in the first, belted a solo homer in the third and added a critical two-run single in the eighth to provide some breathing room.
"I obviously felt really bad about (Wednesday) night," said Ross. "To come out today and pick up the team and get a victory, split the short series, was big for us."
The at-bats:
In the eighth, with Dustin Pedroia on third and David Ortiz at second, Ross faced Wade Davis.
"He threw me a curve ball first pitch and I swung at it," he said. "I was just trying to battle. I looked out there and saw the shift and I was just trying to hit a hole, and luckily, hit it right to the shortstop and he wasn't there."

In the third, with two out and the bases loaded, he faced Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore.
"He threw me two really good (changeups) right before that," recounted Ross, "that had some movement them, moving away from my barrell. I took both of them. The (next) one kind of stayed flat. I was just trying to square it up. I definitely wasn't trying to hit a home run to center. I just hit it hard and got some air under it."

In the first inning, with the bases loaded, Ross fell behind 0-and-2 to Moore, before battling back for a walk, forcing in the first run of the night.
"(That kind of at-bat) definitely gives you confidence," said Ross, "being down 0-and-2 and battling back and fighting off some tough pitches. That definitely gave me confidence going up in my second at-bat.
"I was down quickly 0-2 (the next time when he homered), but I didn't panic. I just stayed with my approach."
The four-RBI game was the second of the season for Ross, who didn't have one all of last year. Both of those games have come against Tampa, and three of his seven homers have been hit off Rays' pitching.

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

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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.

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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.

MORE:

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.

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