Red Sox

Sox stumble, Yankees take over first, 3-2

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Sox stumble, Yankees take over first, 3-2

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
For the first time since April 9 -- and just the second time this season -- the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-2, snapping a seven-game losing streak against the Sox.

The win moved the Yankees a game ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East standings, dropping the Sox out of first for the first time since July 6.

The Yanks erupted for three runs in the sixth off Jon Lester (11-5), who lost to New York for just the second time in 15 career starts.

Two walks that inning by Lester contributed to the rally. Eduardo Nunez worked a leadoff walk and scored two hitters later on an RBI-single from Curtis Granderson.

Derek Jeter crossed the plate on a double play ball and Granderson scored on Nick Swisher's double.

The Sox had taken a 1-0 lead in the third on a run-scoring double by Jacoby Ellsbury. The Sox added to their lead in the fourth when David Ortiz homered into the right field bleachers just behind the Red Sox bullpen.

Bartolo Colon was chased after 4 23 innings, but the Yankee bullpen pitched shutout ball for the final 4 13 innings, allowing just two hits in that span -- a two-out double by Carl Crawford in the sixth and an infield single by Crawford with one out in the ninth.
STAR OF THE GAME: Nick Swisher
Swisher was the only member of the Yankees' lineup to collect two hits. He had a single in the second and a double in the sixth.

The double, just inside the third base bag, came with two outs and scored Curtis Granderson with what proved to be the winning run.

HONORABLE MENTION: Boone Logan
After starter Bartolo Colon ran out of gas at 94 pitches, Logan inherited a bases-loaded situation with two outs in the fifth.

Facing Adrian Gonzalez, the major league leader in RBI, Logan struck out the first baseman on three pitches, then got two big outs in the sixth -- Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz -- before allowing a double to Carl Crawford.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Jon Lester
Lester shut out the Yankees for the first five innings, then seemed to lose the plate in the sixth when two walks led to a three-run inning for the visitors.
TURNING POINT: Lester walks Nunez
In the sixth, Lester quickly got ahead of Eduardo Nunez, the No. 9 hitter, 0-and-2. He then fell behind and walked him, setting in motion the three-run inning for New York.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5010
David Ortiz's solo homer in the fourth inning gave him 50 extra-base hits for 2011, marking the 10th straight year he's reached that milestone.
QUOTE OF NOTE:
"I have to do a better job of buckling down and getting that third out (in the sixth inning).'' Jon Lester, on the run-scoring double he allowed to Nick Swisher.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

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MLB will institute rules to pick up pace, with or without players' agreement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Major League Baseball will change rules to speed games next year with or without an agreement with the players' association.

Management proposed last offseason to institute a 20-second pitch clock, allow one trip to the mound by a catcher per pitcher each inning and raise the bottom of the strike zone from just beneath the kneecap to its pre-1996 level at the top of the kneecap. The union didn't agree, and clubs have the right to impose those changes unilaterally for 2018.

Players and MLB have held initial bargaining since summer, and MLB chief legal officer Dan Halem said this week he would like an agreement by mid-January.

"My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players, but if we can't get an agreement we are going to have rule changes in 2018 one way or the other," baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday after a quarterly owners' meeting.

Nine-inning games averaged a record 3 hours, 5 minutes during the regular season and 3:29 during the postseason.

Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

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Corey Kluber beats Chris Sale for American League Cy Young

Max Scherzer heard his name and thrust his arms in the air, shouting and smiling big before turning to kiss his wife.

Corey Kluber, on the other hand, gulped once and blinked.

Two aces, two different styles - and now another Cy Young Award for each.

The animated Scherzer of the Washington Nationals coasted to his third Cy Young, winning Wednesday for the second straight year in the National League. He breezed past Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, drawing 27 of the 30 first-place votes in balloting by members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Kluber's win was even more of a runaway. The Cleveland Indians ace took 28 first-place votes, easily outpacing Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox for his second AL Cy Young.

Scherzer yelled "yes!" when his award was announced on MLB Network, a reaction in keeping with his expressive reputation. He showed that intensity often this year, whether he was cursing under his breath like a madman during his delivery or demanding - also with expletives - that manager Dusty Baker leave him in the game.

Just a little different than the pitcher they call "Klubot." Kluber was stoic as ever when announced as the AL winner. He swallowed hard but otherwise didn't react, only showing the hint of a smile moments later when answering questions.

Not that he wasn't thrilled.

"Winning a second one maybe, for me personally, kind of validates the first one," Kluber said.

Scherzer's win moves him into rare company. He's the 10th pitcher with at least three Cy Youngs, and among the other nine, only Kershaw and Roger Clemens aren't in the Hall of Fame.

"That's why I'm drinking a lot of champagne tonight," Scherzer said.

Scherzer earned the NL honor last year with Washington and the 2013 American League prize with Detroit.

"This one is special," he said. "When you start talking about winning three times, I can't even comprehend it at this point."

Scherzer was 16-6 with a career-best 2.51 ERA this year. The 33-year-old righty struck out a league-leading 268 for the NL East champion Nationals, and in an era noted for declining pitcher durability, he eclipsed 200 innings for the fifth straight season. He had to overcome a variety of ailments to get there, and Washington's training staff was high on his thank-you list.

"Everybody had a role in keeping me out on the field," he said. "I'm very thankful for all their hard work."

Kershaw has won three NL Cy Youngs and was the last pitcher to win back-to-back. He was 18-4 with a league-best 2.31 ERA and 202 strikeouts. This is his second runner-up finish. Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals finished third.

Kluber missed a month of the season with back pain and still easily won the AL award over Sale and third-place finisher Luis Severino of the New York Yankees. Kluber led the majors with a 2.25 ERA, and his 18 wins tied for the most in baseball. He added to the Cy Young he won with the Indians in 2014 and is the 19th pitcher to win multiple times.

The 31-year-old Kluber was especially dominant down the stretch, closing out the season by going 11-1 to help Cleveland win the AL Central. He and Minnesota's Ervin Santana tied for the major league lead with five complete games - nobody else had more than two. Kluber also led the majors with 8.0 wins above replacement, per baseball-reference.com.

Kluber and Scherzer both had rough outings in the playoffs. Kluber gave up nine runs over two starts in an AL Division Series against the Yankees, and Scherzer blew a save in the decisive Game 5 of an NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Scherzer said he couldn't even watch the League Championship Series, although he did tune in for the World Series.

"That will eat at me this whole offseason," he said.

Voting for the awards was completed before the postseason began.

The final BBWAA honors will come Thursday when the MVP awards are announced in the AL and NL.

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