First win of road trip offers bit of relief for Sox


First win of road trip offers bit of relief for Sox

SEATTLE -- The music blared in the clubhouse for the first time in more than a week. The conversation among players was loud and joyous instead of muted and somber.

One win isn't going to change the Red Sox' season with just four weeks remaining, but after a brutal stretch that saw them outscored and outclassed every night for a week, the Red Sox' 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners sure beat the alternative.

"The guys looked happy after the game," said Bobby Valentine. "It's great to see them with smiles. It was a good win."

The Sox would have taken any victory that came their way after being swept in Anaheim and Oakland, then kicking off the final series of the West Coast road trip with a loss Monday.

Valentine said that the team was physically and mentally spent after Monday's loss, the constant drone of losing having worn them down for the last week.

There seemed more energy in the clubhouse before the game and there was little doubt that, post-game, some stress was being blown off.

"It wasn't easy," said Jon Lester, who picked up his fourth win in his last five starts. "It wasn't easy. But it's big, especially the way we did it, coming back."

The Sox trailed 3-0 heading into the sixth before Cody Ross hit high fly left that carried into the seats, scoring Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury ahead of him.

Three batters later, Ryan Lavarnway followed up with a solo homer that put the Sox ahead to stay.

"It feels good to shake hands," said Ross. "It's been a really long time. It's been, what, probably a week now? But we're not going to give up. We're going to keep fighting. We're going to keep going out and keep battling. That's all we can do at this point."

The playoffs, of course, are completely out of reach and even a winning record is highly unlikely. But there's pride on the line for the Sox.

"We want to play well and keep fighting and try to create some momentum for next year," said Ross. "There's a lot stake right now. Even though we're not in the hunt, there's jobs at stake. Guys have to stay hungry, go out and battle and try to win a spot for next year.

"Whether you're a young kid or a free agent, you have to keep fighting and being a professional. That's what we're planning to do."

"Maybe it'll get something started," concluded Valentine of the win, which snapped the team's longest losing streak in more than a decade.

Then, after a beat, he added perhaps the understatement of the season.

"We're due," he said.

Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists


Bradley, Betts, Pedroia are A.L. Gold Glove finalists

Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field, Mookie Betts in right and Dustin Pedroia at second base are the Red Sox' finalists for the American League Gold Glove awards.

The Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar and the Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier are the other A.L. center field finalists. The White Sox’ Adam Eaton and Astros’ George Springer are A.L. right field finalists. Joining Pedroia as second base finalists are the Mariners’ Robinson Cano and Tigers’ Ian Kinsler.

Peoria has won four Gold Gloves. Bradley and Betts have yet to win one.

The full list of finalists is here.  The awards will be presented on Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. on ESPN

The Red Sox sent out a series of tweets backing each player’s candidacy.

Betts is also a front-runner for the American League Most Valuable Player.


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League


Ortiz wins Hank Aaron Award as top hitter in American League

CLEVELAND -- David Ortiz is heading into retirement with some more hardware.

The Boston Red Sox slugger captured the Hank Aaron Award on Wednesday as the top hitter in the American League this season. Budding Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant was honored as the top hitter in the National League.

The award was presented before Game 2 of the World Series between the Cubs and Cleveland. It was determined through a combination of fan voting and a panel that includes Aaron and other Hall of Fame players.

The 40-year-old Ortiz hit .315 with 38 home runs, 127 RBIs and 48 doubles in the 20th and final season of his major league career. His 541 career home runs rank 17th all-time.

The 24-year-old Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBIs while helping the Cubs cruise to the NL Central title and eventually a spot in the World Series. Shortly after being honored, Bryant singled in the first inning for his first Series hit.