Ciriaco continues to rip through Yankees pitchers

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Ciriaco continues to rip through Yankees pitchers

BOSTON Pedro Ciriaco, Yankee Killer.

Ciriaco cant explain it, but perhaps it defies explanation or analysis. In nine career games against the Yankees, all this season, he is 17-for-35, batting .486, with seven RBI, 11 runs scored, and four stolen bases against the Yankees. Five of his 13 multi-hit games this season have come against the Yankees.

I don't know, he said. I just try and hit the ball and the ball find the hole.

In Tuesdays series-opening win at Fenway Park, Ciriaco went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, including the game-winning run. The run gave the Sox just their third walk-off win of the season.

It's a big night for us, for the team, Ciriaco said. We're happy we got the win tonight.

With one out in the ninth, Ciriaco started the game-winning rally with a single to left, taking second on Mike Aviles' single to shortstop. On Jacoby Ellsbury single to right field, Ciriaco raced around third, sliding home with the winning run ahead of the throw from Ichiro Suzuki.

Ill take Ciris speed and the deep right field at Fenway, Ill take Ciris speed any day," Jacoby Ellsbury said. "Hes been playing great for us. Hes been huge all season and there again in the ninth inning getting on. Once he got to second I knew any ball hit in the outfield he was scoring with his speed.

Ciriaco has certainly opened more than a few eyes this season, beginning in spring training. In 56 games with the Sox, he has hit .306, going 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts, with 27 runs scored, a .414 slugging percentage, and .321 on-base percentage, while playing third base, second, shortstop, and all three outfield positions. On Tuesday, at third base, he made a couple of nifty plays to rob the Yankees of hits.

The play he made on the ball down the line I didnt think there was any chance he could make that play and the diving backhanded play and James Loney at first base picking it on the other end, that was a highlight play, said manager Bobby Valentine. Ciriacos played well at third base. For a guy whos never played there before and we didnt know if he could, hes played well. Started double plays and really made that play coming in very well.

Like many of his teammates, Ciriaco had been struggling coming into the game. In eight games in September, he was hitting just .111 going 3-for-27 as his average dropped from .333 to .301.

He was struggling a little bit I heard coming in, said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. But, he hits a ball at his shoe tops to lead off the ninth. I mean he just finds a way against us.

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.