Red Sox

La Russa, Dombrowski reunite in Red Sox front office

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La Russa, Dombrowski reunite in Red Sox front office

BOSTON -- Tony La Russa and Dave Dombrowski have been talking about working together again since meeting more than three decades ago.

That reunion will finally happen with a Boston Red Sox franchise that continues to shake things up in its pursuit of another World Series championship.

The Red Sox hired La Russa on Thursday to serve as a vice president and special assistant on its baseball operations staff. He'll work for Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, in player development and consultation with the major- and minor-league staffs.

The 73-year-old La Russa served in a similar capacity with the Arizona Diamondbacks the past four seasons.

"It was an opportunity that I was excited about," La Russa said. "Everything you do professionally, if somehow there's a personal connection, I think it adds something to the opportunity. Dave and I go way back."

La Russa was a first-time manager and Dombrowski an energetic young executive with the Chicago White Sox when their careers first crossed paths in mid-1980s.

"He had more guts than brains is what I remember," said La Russa, joking about meeting a 23-year-old Dombrowski in his second year as assistant director of the farm system for Chicago.

It's a fearless approach that La Russa believes has served Dombrowski well in his career since they left Chicago together in 1986. La Russa also thinks Boston's front office chief has an appreciation for his 50-plus years of professional baseball knowledge.

"We've talked every year for years, many times about the responsibilities we've both had and the ups and downs. When we've had questions, we'd always trust each other," La Russa said. "So it's a very familiar position."

Dombrowski said adding someone with La Russa's knowledge is a natural fit for the change in direction the Red Sox made with the dismissal of John Farrell as manager last month .

"For me it's a situation where he's a great resource for many individuals," Dombrowski said. "I can't think of anybody else that's around in today's world that has more knowledge than that."

One of the other big draws to the position for La Russa, himself the owner of three World Series rings, was the opportunity to work alongside a first-time manager and incoming Red Sox skipper Alex Cora.

La Russa ranks third on baseball's all-time managerial list, compiling a 2,728-2,365 record in 33 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland and St. Louis. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014.

While La Russa said he will certainly be around to be a resource for Cora in whatever capacity, he sees his new job as helping without getting in the way.

That extends to his interactions with managers, coaches and players in the farm system and those at the major-league level.

"I think you just stay out of the way, and you contribute when you're asked," La Russa said.

The Baseball Show Podcast: J.D. Martinez on pace for monster season

The Baseball Show Podcast: J.D. Martinez on pace for monster season

Lou Merloni and Red Sox insider Evan Drellich debate and discuss some of the week's biggest Red Sox topics, presented by Twin River Casino. . .

0:22 - With a pair of homers on Sunday vs. the Orioles, J.D. Martinez continued his hot streak and is on pace to surpass the team's expectations of him. Lou and Evan discuss Martinez's power to all fields and how his hitting approach has had a positive impact on his teammates.

6:44 - Lou and Evan break down the ugly situations for Carson Smith, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Blake Swihart and discuss what the club can do to deal with the struggles of all three players.

13:40 - Evan and Lou go around the horn and look at a few headlines from around the league: Robinson Cano's 80-game suspension, the Cubs interest in Manny Machado and Dustin Pedroia's nearing return to the Red Sox.

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J.D. Martinez's 2 vastly different HRs lead Red Sox past O's

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J.D. Martinez's 2 vastly different HRs lead Red Sox past O's

J.D. Martinez hit two vastly different drives for his first multihomer game with Boston, powering Eduardo Rodriguez and the Red Sox to a 5-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

Martinez drove in three runs, and Andrew Benintendi had a two-run homer among his three hits as the Red Sox won three of four in the series to improve to 6-1 against Baltimore this season.

Signed to a $110 million, five-year deal as a free agent in February, the 30-year-old Martinez sliced his first homer an estimated 324 feet around the Pesky Pole in right field. He hammered his second to the deepest part of Fenway Park - projected at 443 feet over the center-field triangle for his 15th of the season.

The Orioles got 13 hits but lost for the 15th time in 16 road games and dropped to a major league-worst 4-19 away from Camden Yards. Adam Jones had three of Baltimore's 12 singles.

Rodriguez (4-1) scattered nine hits, struck out seven and didn't walk a batter in 5 2/3 innings.

Leading 1-0 in the fifth, the Red Sox chased David Hess (1-1) and took charge with four runs. Benintendi hit his shot into the Orioles' bullpen after Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled leading off.

Mitch Moreland doubled before Martinez belted his second homer of the day. His first came in the second inning.

Hess gave up five runs and eight hits over 4 2/3 innings in his second major league start.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: 1B Chris Davis was out of the lineup because he's been struggling against left-handers, batting only .139 (5 for 36).

Red Sox: Manager Alex Cora gave DH-1B Hanley Ramirez, in a 5-for-26 slump with no extra-base hits in his last six games, the day off "to work on a few things and keep him off his feet." . Cora did the same for shortstop Xander Bogaerts, saying: "I think he only had like one off day since coming back from the DL." Bogaerts was sidelined April 9-27 with an injured left ankle. . 2B Dustin Pedroia (recovering from left knee surgery in the offseason) was slated to be the DH in a rehab game at Triple-A Pawtucket.

LIKE AN INFIELDER

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski played a foul ball that sailed into his box behind home plate on the bounce, picking it up from a tabletop in front of him. Next to him was former Red Sox right fielder Dwight Evans, who won eight Gold Gloves in his career.

UP NEXT

Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (1-5, 4.83 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox.

Red Sox: After an off day, LHP Chris Sale (4-1, 2.29) pitches Tuesday at Tampa Bay. Sale has allowed three or fewer runs in all 10 of his starts.

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