Red Sox

Wakefield blown away by A's, 15-5

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Wakefield blown away by A's, 15-5

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON Tim Wakefields quest for career win No. 200 will have to wait for his seventh try, at least, after his sixth attempt proved futile, as the Red Sox fell to the As, 15-5, at Fenway Park Friday night.

Wakefield went four innings, giving up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks, with two strikeouts and a passed ball. His record fell to 6-6 while his ERA climbed to 5.10.

Wakefield gave up a season-high four runs in one inning with six runs in the fourth, when the As sent 10 batters to the plate. The As did all their damage with two outs, capped by two-run home runs by Scott Sizemore and Josh Willingham, and a two-run double by Hideki Matsui.

Gio Gonzalez got the win for the As, improving to 11-11.

The Sox got on the scoreboard first, when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a double, stole third, and scored on Adrian Gonzalezs single in the first. They added two in the third on back-to-back home runs by Dustin Pedroia, his 17th of the season, tying a career high, and David Ortiz, his 26th. It was the eighth time the Sox have hit consecutive home runs this season.

The As added seven runs over the last three innings. Scott Atchison relieved Wakefield and gave up a run in the seventh, while Matt Albers allowed four in the eighth.

Darnell McDonald pitched the ninth inning, his first professional appearance on the mound. It was the first time a position player has pitched for the Red Sox since Bill Hall on May 28, 2010. McDonald allowed two runs.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jemile Weeks
Weeks went 3-for-5, with two doubles, three runs scored, and a walk. With a strikeout-passed ball in the fourth inning and a ninth-inning walk, he reached base five times. His three hits match a career high for the ninth time. (He also had three hits against the Yankees on Thursday). His three runs scored tie a career high for the third time. This was his first career game with two doubles, although he has two other games with multiple extra-base hits, each with a double and a triple.

HONORABLE MENTION: Josh Willingham
Willingham went 2-for-5 with a double, a home run, two runs scored, and four RBI. He had one of two two-run homers against Tim Wakefield in the sixth-run fourth inning. It was Willinghams team-leading 23rd homer of the season and 10th in his last 26 games. He also had a two-run double in the ninth off Darnell McDonald for the As final two runs of the game. Willingham has 13 RBI in his last 10 games and a team-high 79 for the season. His eight home runs this month are the most in August since Eric Chavez hit nine in 2004.

THE GOAT: Tim Wakefield
In his sixth attempt for his 200th career win, Wakefield came up empty. He went four innings, his shortest start of the season and shortest outing since two innings against the Rangers on July 15, 2010, giving up eight runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts and a wild pitch. His record fell to 6-6, while his ERA climbed to 5.10.

Given a 1-0 lead in the first, Wakefield gave it back in the next inning, allowing two runs. From there, the As continued to add on. Wakefield allowed a season-high four runs in an inning, giving up six (two earned) in the fourth, passing his previous high of five in the fifth inning in Baltimore on July 18. It also matches a season high for any Sox pitcher in an inning this season. Wakefield has not earned a win since July 24 against the Mariners.

THE TURNING POINT
With the Sox trailing by just a run going into the fourth, the As scored six runs in the inning, sending 10 batters to the plate. The As scored all their runs in the inning with two outs. The hole was too deep for the Sox or Wakefield to climb out of. Wakefield was done after the inning.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1
In giving up 15 runs, Red Sox pitching fell one run short of its season high, behind only the 16 runs allowed to the Rays on April 11. Wakefield gave up eight runs (four earned) in four innings. Scott Atchison gave up one run in three innings. Matt Albers allowed four runs in one inning. And Darnell McDonald, pitching for the first time since high school, was responsible for two runs in one inning.

QUOTE OF NOTE:
I think the biggest disappointment is that I didnt get deep in the game. Ive got to take my personal numbers and throw them out the window right now. Were trying to hold onto a one-game lead in the East, and the biggest thing coming off a long road trip like that, is to try to win the game, for us, for the team, not for me personally. That 200th win will eventually happen, hopefully. But I think the thing I pride myself most in, is to try to give the club quality innings and get deep in the game, and not have to use the bullpen like we did tonight. -- Tim Wakefield, on the loss

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

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Report: Ex-Red Sox reliever Reed gets deal with Twins

He was dubbed "Closer B" by Red Sox manager John Farrell when acquired at the trade deadline last summer, now Addison Reed is "Closer B Gone"...to the Twins.

The right-handed reliever, 29, has agreed to a two-year, $16.75 million free-agent deal with Minnesota, pending a physical, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and TheAthletic.com reports. 

Reed began last season with the Mets and had 19 saves and a 2.57 ERA before being traded to the Red Sox, where he had a 3.33 ERA in 29 games (27 innings) without a save as a setup man for Craig Kimbrell.  
 

Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

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Red Sox, Mookie Betts far apart on salary and heading toward arbitration

The Red Sox and star right fielder Mookie Betts intend to go to an arbitration hearing in February, and there were signs this was coming even a year ago.

Betts was the only arbitration-eligible player on the Red Sox who did not settle on a contract with the team on Friday, when a deadline arrived for all teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange 2018 salary figures. Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Drew Pomeranz were the biggest names to avoid hearings.

Betts filed for a $10.5 million salary and the Red Sox filed at $7.5 million.  Betts and the Red Sox agreed previously that if no figure could be settled on by the Friday deadline, they would proceed to a hearing, assistant general manager Brian O'Halloran said. 

A three-person panel of arbitrators therefore is set to determine what Betts makes in 2018: either the $7.5 million figure the Sox filed or the $10.5 million figure Betts' camp submitted. The arbitrators won't settle on a midpoint for the parties. 

O'Halloran noted to the Globe there are no hard feelings involved.

Nonetheless, such a large gap would seem to provide incentive to settle. The parties technically could still decide to do so, but that would take a change of course from the present plan. The idea was to settle any time before Friday, and they did not. 

Betts is asking for near-record money for a first-year arbitration eligible player. Kris Bryant set the record Friday with a $10.85 million settlement.

The hearings can be difficult for player-team relations because teams have to make the case in front of the player that he is worth less money than he wants.

Betts, 25, hit .264, with 24 homers, 102 RBI, 25 stolen bases and a .803 OPS in 2017, numbers that fell from his American League MVP runner-up performance in 2016, but were nonetheless very strong and coupled with first-rate defense.

This offseason is Betts' first of arbitration eligibility. In the first three years of service time in a players' career, there's no recourse if you don't like the salary a team is offering. Teams can pay players anything at league minimum or above. 

The only option a player has in those first three years is to make a stand on principle: you can force the team to technically "renew" your salary, which notes to everyone that you did not agree to the salary. Betts and his agents did that in 2017 when the Sox paid him $950,000, a very high amount relative to most contract renewals.

Some of the standard thinking behind forcing a team to renew a contract is that if an arbitration case comes up down the road — and one now looms for Betts — it's supposed to show the arbitrators that the player felt even in seasons past, he was underpaid.

Still, the Sox may have effectively combatted that perception by paying Betts almost $1 million on a renewal. Per USA Today, that $950,000 agreement in 2017 was "the second-highest one-year deal ever for a non-arbitration-eligible player with two-plus years of big league service." Mike Trout got $1 million in 2014.