Red Sox

Red Sox rock Blue Jays pitching, 16-4


Red Sox rock Blue Jays pitching, 16-4

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
TORONTO -- Before Saturday's game, manager Terry Francona and his coaching staff were worried about the team's energy level, fearing that the real impact of the team's early morning travel would come a day later.

By the end of the afternoon, the only thing tiring for the Red Sox was circling the bases.

The Sox busted out with 18 hits and every member of the starting lineup collected at least one RBI in a 16-4 thumping of the Toronto Blue Jays, good for Boston's eighth consecutive win, a season best.

Three times, the Sox scored multiple runs in an inning, plating four in the third, seven in the fifth as both David Ortiz and Jason Varitek cranked three-run homers in that inning, and three more in the eighth.

The 16 runs marked a season high for the Red Sox. Six different players had multi-hit games, led by Marco Scutaro who had four.

The game marked the fifth time in the last 21 games -- and fourth time in the last 10 road games -- that the Sox reached double figures in a game.

John Lackey, pitching at Rogers Centre for the first time since his famous post-game meltdown exactly a month ago, picked up his second straight win, allowing four runs
over six innings.

STAR OF THE GAME: Jason Varitek
After a brutal start at the plate in the first month, Varitek has come around. Saturday, he was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, two runs scored and a total of four RBI.

The Red Sox catcher went almost a full calendar year without a homer, but has hit three since May 24.

The Red Sox predicted that Pedroia would return from the exam and scope of his ailing right knee with peace of mind -- and he has.

In the two games since, he's 6-for-10 with two walks and helping to spark the offense by getting on base at the top of the lineup.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Brandon Morrow
Morrow has great stuff, but he didn't show much of it Saturday, getting rocked for nine runs on 10 hits in just 4 13 innings.

Morrow's poor outing forced John Farrell to empty his bullpen, using five relievers and infielder Mike McCoy to close out the rout.

TURNING POINT: Varitek's three-run homer in the fifth turned a comfortable 5-2 lead into an 8-2 laugher -- and the rout was on.

BY THE NUMBERS: In their five wins against the Blue Jays this season, the Red Sox have outscored Toronto 42-7.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "That's the whole idea -- you don't want to give anybody any easy innings.'' Terry Francona on the entire lineup coming together of late.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Astros beat Yankees in Game 7 to advance to World Series, 4-0


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.