Breslow 'more confident' this time around

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Breslow 'more confident' this time around

BOSTON The last time Craig Breslow wore a Red Sox uniform he was a 25-year-old lefty attempting to establish himself as a big league ballplayer.
He shuttled back-and-forth from Boston to Pawtucket during the 2006 season and put up a respectable 3.75 ERA in 13 games spanning 12 innings for Boston.
Breslow stayed with the Red Sox organization through the 2007 season and then was waived by both the Sox and the Cleveland Indians within a week during the final week of March in 2008.
Fast forward six years and stints with the Minnesota Twins, Oakland As and Arizona Diamondbacks: Breslow is returning to Boston as an established reliever that has appeared in 60 plus games in each of the last three seasons. In 2010, Breslow appeared in 75 games for the As and actually racked up five saves for Oakland. The lefty wont be dropped into that role in Boston, obviously.
But Breslows place in the bullpen might just allow the Red Sox to move hard-throwing lefty Franklin Morales back into the starting rotation that looked like a natural fit for him.
Its exciting for me. I appreciate the time that I was away, but this is home for me. I want to help the guys. The last time I was here filling in while I was shuffling back and forth between Triple-A. Now Im more confident, more seasoned and more better-prepared for the situations I might find, said Breslow. Hopefully I can contribute as another left-hander out of the bullpen. I can do matchups or pitch multiple innings at a time.
Ive always fought the notion that Im strictly a left-on-left guy and my splits have always been pretty even in my career. If its eating innings or matching up, I feel like I can do both of those.
This season Breslow is actually holding right-handed hitters to a .226 batting average and lefties to a .243 batting average in a similar number of at bats against him.
More importantly hes aware of the constant pressure and potential reward that comes along with wearing the home whites at Fenway. Thats a must for a reliever that can sometimes live and die with that nights results.
For better or for worse this is Boston. Growing up in Connecticut this is a team that Im very familiar with and at times you can be scrutinized, said Breslow. But I dont think theres a better place to be successful.
The 31-year-old also cost the Sox two major league-caliber players in Scott Podsednik and Matt Albers during a July 31 trade deadline deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Breslow made it to Fenway Park prior to game time after flying all the way in from Los Angeles, and actually pitched 1 13 of scoreless relief while striking out a pair of hitters. It didnt ultimately lead to a winning end product for the Sox as they ended a four-game winning streak in a 7-5 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park.
But theres no mistaking that Breslow can help, and who better to do that than a New England native from Trumbull, Connecticut.
He looked good. Everything was moving. Ive faced him a couple of times, but not enough to know a lot about him, said Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He has really good stuff; a sinker-in to lefties and a changeup as well and a cutter. Everything is working and it was fun to catch that.
In a sign of the times only Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester remain from that 2006 Sox team that Breslow made his Boston debut with.
Its an almost entirely different group of players in the Sox clubhouse and an altogether different Breslow looking to make it work a second time around.

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.