First pitch: Sox can't capitalize on offensive chances

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First pitch: Sox can't capitalize on offensive chances

SEATTLE -- For the fifth time in as many tries, the Red Sox lost a game in extra innings Saturday night.

But it wasn't as if they didn't have their chances. Before Chone Figgins' sacrfice fly to right scored Dustin Ackley to give the Seattle Mariners a 3-2 11-inning win, the Red Sox had any number of opportunties.

They outhit the Mariners, 11-9, but managed to strand 10 men on base. In both the fourth and tenth innings, they left a man on third base and in the fifth, seventh, and ninth, they left runners on second.

For the game, they were a woeful 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

"Yeah, we had some opportunities,'' lamented Bobby Valentine. "It was just one of those nights we couldn't find the hole and didn't come up with the big one.''

The worst squander came in the 10th, when the Sox got singles from Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz to start the inning. But Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out, Adrian Gonzalez hit into a force play that wiped out Ortiz at second while pushing Pedroia to third.

Will Middlebrooks then hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice.

"Really, really frustrating,'' said Saltalamacchia in recounting the inning. "First and second, no outs, starting with me, I've got to get a guy over, especially with Adrian right behind me. But we didn't do it.''

Gonzalez came into the game with the best average with runners in scoring position (.385) among A.L. qualifiers, but he, too, failed.

"You've got to give the (Seattle) pitching some credit,'' reasoned Cody Ross. "They're bringing in some guys throwing some gas. They made some really good defensive plays. That's just the way it goes. Of course, you want to get some runs across when you get the opportunity, but tonight, we were unable to do it.''

Valentine was asked whether he considered having Saltalamacchia bunt the baserunners over with none out.

"I don't think I've ever bunted my fourth-place hitter,'' explained the manager.

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.