Beckett tosses seven shutout innings, Sox win, 5-0

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Beckett tosses seven shutout innings, Sox win, 5-0

BOSTON Josh Beckett rebounded from a horrendous outing in his last start to dominate the light-hitting Mariners at Fenway Park Tuesday afternoon. The Red Sox swept the two-game series with a 5-0 win, giving them a five-game win streak.

Becketts outing also gave the Sox five consecutive quality starts for the first time this season and the first time since they had eight in a row May 22 29, 2011. Tim Wakefield, who was honored before todays game, began the streak last season, and Beckett had the last start in that streak.

Against the Mariners, who entered the game hitting just .235 as a team, better than only Oaklands .218 in the American League, Beckett went seven scoreless innings, giving up four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts, to improve to 3-4, dropping his ERA a full run from 5.97 to 4.97.

David Ortiz got the Sox on the scoreboard in the third with his eighth home run of the season, a one-out solo shot on a 3-2 fastball into the Sox bullpen. It was the 386th home run of his career, moving him past Dwight Evans for sole possession of 56th on baseballs all-time list. (Next on the list is Johnny Bench with 389.)

In the fourth, Cody Ross walked with one out, went to third on Daniel Navas single and scored on Mike Aviles double, with Nava scoring on Ryan Sweeneys groundout to second base.

The Sox added another run in the fifth when Ortiz led off with a bunt down the third base line, took second on Adrian Gonzalezs fielders choice, and scored on Will Middlebrooks single to left.

In the eighth, Mike Aviles two-out double scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who doubled to lead off the inning.

The Sox bullpen turned in another solid performance as Rich Hill pitched a perfect eighth and Alfredo Aceves did the same in the ninth.

With the win, the Sox improve to 17-19.

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California. 

 

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."