Red Sox

Sox to skip Doubront's next scheduled start

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Sox to skip Doubront's next scheduled start

CLEVELAND Felix Doubront appeared to be battling fatigue in Thursday nights loss to the Indians when he couldnt get out of the fifth inning, and the Sox are addressing that by skipping his next start.

The Sox lefty was penciled in to pitch Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles, but instead veteran righty Aaron Cook will get the outing at Camden Yards. Doubront is 0-2 with a 6.97 ERA in his last four games, and struggled mightily with fastball command while failing to get out of the fifth inning against the Tribe armed with a 3-1 lead.

The plan is to have things be adjustable right now, and the plan is that were going to have Felix miss his next start, said Sox manager Bobby Valentine. Aaron will pitch in his stead. So six starters then becomes five, and it might go back to up to six or stay at five depending the things we see.

Right now, a little blow for Felix is exactly what the doctor ordered. I want him to miss one start, take a deep breath and maybe do a little leg work.

Doubront said following Thursdays loss that fatigue wasnt an issue, but its pretty clear the Sox want to be careful as hes approaching his professional career-high in innings pitched. (129 13 back in 2008). The Sox southpaw leads the team in wins (10) and quality starts (11), but has also pitched more than 30 innings pitched than he did last season while sitting at 122 23 innings in the middle of August.

Valentine indicated that Doubront could be used out of the bullpen if its necessary over the next 10 days, but the hope is that he can work on strengthening his legs. At the same time they want him to scale back on his throwing program and perhaps regain a little of the command and oomph on his mid-90s fastball.

He wont pitch in the bullpen for a while during this spell, but between now and the next time he gets slotted in to the rotation he might pitch out of the pen, said Valentine. It will be out of necessity, but hopefully we dont need to necessitate that.

Valentine said its not necessary a young pitcher thing thats causing the Doubront break, but its always beneficial for a baseball team to proceed with caution when a young hurler is approaching any kind of innings hurdles. That is doubly so when the pitcher is also showing signs of arm fatigue.

So the Sox will switch in the veteran for the rookie in the next turn of the rotation as they prepare for an important pair of divisional series against the Orioles and Yankees over the next 10 days.

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.