Red Sox

Youkilis out again with sore back


Youkilis out again with sore back

By Joe Haggerty Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
SEATTLE Kevin Youkilis will be out of the Red Sox lineup for the second straight game because of discomfort in his lower back despite his best attempts to calm things down when he first felt the twinge.

Sox manager Terry Francona said that the Sox would stay away from Youkilis while hes still feeling things in his back, and it continues a season thats had plenty of nagging injuries eating at the first basemen. Youkilis talked about the back stiffness on Friday afternoon, and said that it originally grabbed at him in the series against the Minnesota Twins. Then it wouldnt loosen up while he took some swings in the batting cages during Fridays pregame, and thats when Youkilis and the team shut things down for the next two days.

Hes still sore, confirmed Francona.

This will be the 11th game missed by Youkilis this season due to an assortment of nagging problems none of which have been serious enough to land the third baseman on the 15-day disabled list. Nonetheless Youkilis was getting a little frustrated that his body was breaking down a bit with Boston reliant on their cleanup hitter.

I usually have something going in my back at least once a season, but it seems like there have been a lot of different things popping up physically throughout the season, said Youkilis. Hopefully this isnt something that keeps me out for a long stretch of games, but you dont want to force it and make things worse.

Mike Aviles will jump into the lineup at third base given his .375 career batting average against starter Felix Hernandez as opposed to the 1-for-9 lifetime performance by Jed Lowrie against King Felix and once again Dustin Pedroia finds himself as the unlikely cleanup hitter in the Sox lineup.

It doesnt appear likely that Youkilis would be available for pinch-hitting duties, and his availability for Sunday afternoon should be in question with another off day coming on Monday.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

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


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.


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.


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.