Beckett's rough first inning dooms Red Sox

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Beckett's rough first inning dooms Red Sox

CHICAGO -- What few mistakes Josh Beckett made in the Red Sox road trip finale, he managed to make them early.

But those mistakes loomed large later, thanks to his counterpart, Gavin Floyd.

Beckett allowed a run-scoring single to Alex Rios and a two-run homer to Adam Dunn in the first inning, handing the Chicago White Sox a quick 3-0 lead that would stand up for a 4-1 White Sox victory.

"That's a pretty tough hole to put your team in," said Beckett, 2-3, "especially with a guy (Floyd) who I know has pitched well against us in the past."

The pitch to Dunn, guessed Beckett, was "assuming the way he hit, probably right down the (expletive) middle. The two-run homer was the difference between that and the rest of the game. You can give them one, in that situation. Leadoff guy (Alejando De Aza) gets a hit, they bunt him over and they want to manufacture a run in the first inning.

"As a pitcher, you have to minimize the damage and give them the one run and move on."

After the first, Beckett was masterful, allowing just two baserunners from the second through the sixth.

In the seventh, he seemed to tire some, allowing a two-out single to Eduardo Escobar, the No. 9 hitter, before finishing with two straight walks and giving way to Scott Atchison.

"Josh was good with all of his pitches," said Bobby Valentine. "His stuff might have been a little flat in (the first inning). The rest of the game, right up until the last pitch he threw, it looked like he had good movement, location, his curve ball was good.

"It was one of those days where we didn't score for him."

Beckett left with two out in the seventh, having tied a career-high with 126 pitches, his most in a start since 2004.

"I wasn't really paying too much attention to it," he said of the workload. "I was just trying to get that last out (which resulted in a 12-pitch walk to Brent Lillibridge)."

It helps that Beckett, like Jon Lester (124 pitches Saturday night) will get an extra day of rest before the next turn, thanks to a scheduled off-day Thursday.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.