Red Sox

Wrist keeps Ellsbury out; Ciriaco starts in LF

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Wrist keeps Ellsbury out; Ciriaco starts in LF

OAKLAND -- Jacoby Ellsbury was out of the lineup Sunday in the Red Sox' series finale in Oakland, resting a sore right wrist that been "barking at him a little''for the last few days, according to manager Bobby Valentine.

"When we set off on the road trip, the training staff was hoping that one of these days would work,'' said Valentine. "It is a day game. We'll see if we can't get it to feel a little better.''

With Ellsbury out, Valentine shifted Scott Podsednik over from left field to center and had Pedro Ciriaco in left.

Ciriaco is being pressed into duty because the Sox find themselves short of outfield options.

Asked how comfortable he was with Ciriaco, an infielder by trade, playing the outfield, Valentine said: "Not very. But he's caught some pop-ups at third; they're just a little further out there in left.''

Ciriaco played the outfield center for a day in spring training.

Ryan Kalish has been unavailable for a few days because of recurring shoulder soreness. Kalish underwent shoulder surgery last off-season.

"His shoulder's been keeping him from swinging in a game,'' said Valentine. "It felt a little better Saturday, but he still had treatment after batting practice. He's not really a game-ready guy.''

The Sox don't have many other options in the minors, either. Che-Hsuan Lin is on the 40-man roster, but because he was up for a day on an emergency basis last weekend when the team was short of players in the aftermath of the trade with the Dodgers, then optioned back, he can't return until 10 days have passed.

Meanwhile, infielder Ivan DeJesus was on his way to Oakland and was expected to arrive shortly before the game Sunday.

Valentine said DeJesus, part of the deal with the Dodgers last weekend, can play second and short and, likely, third base.

DeJesus is insurance since Dustin Pedroia's wife is pregnant and could go into labor at any time.

DeJesus gives us protection on the West Coast,'' said Valentine.

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.