BOSTON Although he gave a up a first-inning run, continuing a disconcerting trend by Red Sox pitchers, Felix Doubront held the White Sox scoreless over the rest of six-inning outing Wednesday night, as the Red Sox beat Chicago, 10-1 at Fenway Park. Doubront improves his record to 10-4 with a 4.24 ERA.Doubront, who spent spring training vying for both a roster spot and spot in the rotation, is the first Sox pitcher to reach the 10-win plateau this season. On a staff that included presumptive elite pitchers, that fact does not go unnoticed. It has surprised even Doubront.A lot, he said. But since I came to spring training I was working so hard to be here and to be in this spot. Just working to get more wins and whatever happens Im going to keep fighting to get more wins.Felix Doubronts been our most consistent pitcher all year. Obviously he has 10 wins, manager Bobby Valentine said. I guess coming out of spring training, Vegas would have given you pretty good odds that he would not have been the first one on our staff with 10 wins. But hes been consistent.Doubront opened the game with consecutive singles to Alejandro De Aza and Kevin Youkilis before getting Adam Dunn to ground into a double play. But Paul Konerko, playing in his 2,000th career game with the White Sox, singled to drive in De Aza.Doubront held the White Sox at bay the rest of the way. In six innings, he gave up just one run on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts.He got the double play ball in the first inning and got upset that he let the two-out hit fall in there and then he shut the door, Valentine said. His changeup was really good. He wasnt afraid to throw inside when he had to. Had his two-seamer working. Hes a good pitcher.In a season when those presumptive elite pitchers have been inconsistent, Doubront has provided a measure of consistency. In 18 outings he posted his 10th quality start of the season, tied for most on the staff, while becoming the staff stopper. In eight starts following a Sox loss, including Wednesday, he has posted a record of 5-0 with a 2.76 ERA. The Sox are 7-1 in those games.He caught my eye in his first bullpen that I ever saw because he was kind of off the radar, Valentine said. He had pitched some winter ball so he was a little ahead of the other guys. So it was easy for him to stand out. But he maintained really good bullpens, as I remember, really good outings. His two-inning outings, his four-inning outings. He was a slam dunk to make the team as far as I was concerned.Doubront has been the beneficiary of tremendous run support. He leads all major league qualifiers with an average of 8.38 runs of support per start. Knowing he is likely to get that kind of support can only help his approach on the mound, even when working with a quick deficit.Sox pitchers have given up a total of 76 first-inning runs this season, their highest total of any inning. They have allowed at least one run in the first inning in 15 of the last 17 games at Fenway, including the last 10 in a row.I know the team is going to score runs, Doubront said. We got a good team, great hitters. I wasnt worried about that. Just good pitching. I figured out a couple things. In the first inning I was a little bit off.Its amazing... to see a lot of scoring, that helped me to keep throwing the ball and get confidence to stay for six or seven inningsIn trouncing the White Sox, Doubront was backed by Cody Ross two three-run home runs, and four RBI from Adrian Gonzalez.Felix was outstanding tonight, said Ross. He got himself in a little trouble, in a bind early in that first inning and managed to get out of it and then was just dominant after that. Flipping his curve ball over, getting some swing and misses on that and getting a lot of ground ball outs. He pitched outstanding and the bullpen came in and did an outstanding job.Doubront is now 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA against American League Central teams this season.When a team gets a lead like that, and a pitcher gets a lead like that, hes taught to go out there and really pound the strike zone, said Konerko. He got better after he got that big lead and thats what youre supposed to do.
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.
Sad to learn of Andy Marte's death this morning. He was a genuine person who always greeted you with a warm smile.— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 22, 2017
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.
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.