Frustration builds as Sox fall in extras, 6-5

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Frustration builds as Sox fall in extras, 6-5

BOSTON What appeared early in the game might be a comfortable lead ended in yet another level of futility and frustration for the Red Sox Friday night at Fenway Park as they lost 6-5 to the Twins.

It was their third straight loss, second to the Twins.

A second chance in the third inning for Carl Crawford appeared to be what the Red Sox needed to boost them over the Twins. With two outs and two on in the third, Crawford lofted a pop-up into foul territory near the first base coachs box, a seemingly certain third out for Justin Morneau, who entered the game with a .996 fielding percentage, making just two errors in 82 games.

But, the ball glanced off the tip of Morneaus glove, giving Crawford new life. He drilled the next pitch from Twins lefty Brian Duensing into the Red Sox bullpen, giving the Sox a 5-1 lead, with his third home run of the season.

But, that seemingly comfortable lead for Felix Doubront was all given back by the Sox left-hander in the fifth inning.

The Twins got on the scoreboard first when Morneau led off the second with a double to left, taking third on Danny Valencias fly out to Cody Ross in right, and scoring on Darin Mastroiannis single up the middle.

The Sox quickly tied the game in the bottom of the inning with Crawford hit a two-out double to right, scoring on Kelly Shoppachs single to center.

The Sox opened the third with consecutive singles by Dustin Pedroia, Ross, and Adrian Gonzalez for one-run before Crawfords blast.

With a 5-1 lead in the fifth, Doubront gave up a lead-off single to No. 9 hitter, Jamey Carroll, who was erased on Denard Spans fielders choice. A single by Ben Revere and a walk to Joe Mauer loaded the bases. A five-pitch walk to Josh Willingham pushed in Span for one run. And a two-run single by Morneau, atoning for his earlier miscue, scored Revere and Mauer. Danny Valencias sacrifice fly to right scored Willingham, tying the score, 5-5.

Doubront lasted just five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts. He threw 97 pitches, 60 strikes, as his ERA went from 4.37 to 4.56.

Duensing was not involved in the decision, either, going six innings, giving up five runs (two earned) on 10 hits with no walks, three strikeouts, and a home run.

Vicente Padilla entered for the 10th, giving up a lead-off double to Darin Mastroianni on a 3-and-2 pitch. With one out, No. hitter Jamey Carroll singled to center, scoring Mastroianni with the go-ahead run.

Padilla took the loss, falling to 4-1 with a 3.92 ERA.

Carroll reached base in all five plate appearances, a walk, two singles, and two doubles. Morneau also reached base five times, with two doubles, two singles, and getting hit by an Andrew Miller pitch I n the ninth. He had two RBI and a run scored.

STAR OF THE GAME: Jamey Carroll
The Twins No. 9 hitter drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning with a one-out single to center, scoring Darin Mastroianni.

Carroll reached base in all five plate appearances, going 4-for-4 with a walk, two singles, and two doubles. His four hits tied a career high for the 11th time. It was the eighth time in his career that he has reached base safely five times in a game. He is the first Twins No. 9 batter to reach base safely in all five plate appearances since Denard Span on July 10, 2008, at Detroit.

HONORABLE MENTION: Justin Morneau
While Morneau was very nearly the goat, with a third-inning error that lead to three unearned runs, he redeemed himself by going 4-for-4, reaching base in all five plate appearances, with two doubles, two singles, and getting hit by a pitch in the ninth. He had two RBI and a run scored.

It was the ninth time in his career he has reached base safely five times in a game.

Morneau went 4-for-4 off Red Sox left-handed pitchers and is 13-for-24 (.542) against lefties since July 19. Before that he was just .133 (13-for-98) this season. It was the second time in his career he had four hits off left-handers, the first since May 18, 2009, against the Yankees.

His two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth inning was just his second hit in 14 at-bats with the bases loaded this season.

THE GOAT: Felix Doubront
Doubront was unable to hold a four-run lead in the fifth, allowing the Twins to tie the game. That would be his last inning.

THE TURNING POINT
The Sox had a four-run lead going into the fifth but the Twins scored four runs.

Doubront gave up a lead-off single to No. 9 hitter, Jamey Carroll, who was erased on Denard Spans fielders choice. A single by Ben Revere and a walk to Joe Mauer loaded the bases. A five-pitch walk to Josh Willingham pushed in Span for one run. And a two-run single by Mauer, atoning for his earlier miscue, scored Revere and Mauer. Danny Valencias sacrifice fly to right scored Willingham, tying the score, 5-5.

STAT OF THE DAY: 3-for-14
The Sox were just 3-for-14 (.214) with runners in scoring position, leaving 10 runners on base.

QUOTE OF NOTE
We had good at-bats, and we had chances, and we didnt have such good at-bats. Well get em tomorrow. Bobby Valentine

New MLB labor deal: All-Star Game no longer determines home field in World Series

New MLB labor deal: All-Star Game no longer determines home field in World Series

IRVING, Texas -- Baseball players and owners reached a tentative agreement on a five-year labor contract Wednesday night, a deal that will extend the sport's industrial peace to 26 years since the ruinous fights in the first two decades of free agency.

After days of near round-the-clock talks, negotiators reached a verbal agreement about 3 1/2 hours before the expiration of the current pact. Then they worked to draft a memorandum of understanding, which must be ratified by both sides.

"It's great! Another five years of uninterrupted baseball," Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt said in a text message.

In announcing the agreement, Major League Baseball and the players' association said they will make specific terms available when drafting is complete.

"Happy it's done, and baseball is back on," Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy said.

As part of the deal, the experiment of having the All-Star Game determine which league gets home-field advantage in the World Series will end after 14 years, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been signed.

Instead, the pennant winner with the better regular-season record will open the Series at home.

Another important change: The minimum time for a stint on the disabled list will be reduced from 15 days to 10.

The luxury tax threshold rises from $189 million to $195 million next year, $197 million in 2018, $206 million in 2019, $209 million in 2020 and $210 million in 2021.

Tax rates increase from 17.5 percent to 20 percent for first offenders, remain at 30 percent for second offenders and rise from 40 percent to 50 percent for third offenders. There is a new surtax of 12 percent for teams $20 million to $40 million above the threshold, 42.5 percent for first offenders more than $40 million above the threshold and 45 percent for subsequent offenders more than $40 million above.

Union head Tony Clark, presiding over a negotiation for the first time, said in a statement the deal "will benefit all involved in the game and leaves the game better for those who follow."

Key changes involve the qualifying offers clubs can make to their former players after they become free agents - the figure was $17.2 million this year. If a player turns down the offer and signs elsewhere, his new team forfeits an amateur draft pick, which usually had been in the first round under the old deal.

Under the new rules, a player can receive a qualifying offer only once in his career and will have 10 days to consider it instead of seven. A club signing a player who declined a qualifying offer would lose its third-highest amateur draft pick if it is a revenue-sharing receiver, its second- and fifth-highest picks (plus a loss of $1 million in its international draft pool) if it pays luxury tax for the just-ended season, and its second-highest pick (plus $500,000 in the international draft pool) if it is any other team.

A club losing a free agent who passed up a qualifying offer would receive an extra selection after the first round of the next draft if the player signed a contract for $50 million or more and after competitive balance round B if under $50 million. However, if that team pays luxury tax, the extra draft pick would drop to after the fourth round.

Among other details:

-For a team $40 million or more in excess of the luxury tax threshold, its highest selection in the next amateur draft will drop 10 places.

-While management failed to obtain an international draft of amateurs residing outside the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, it did get a hard cap on each team's annual bonus pool for those players starting at $4.75 million for the signing period that begins next July 2.

-There is no change to limits on active rosters, which remain at 25 for most of the season and 40 from Sept. 1 on.

-Smokeless tobacco will be banned for all new players, those who currently do not have at least one day of major league service.

-The regular season will expand from 183 days to 187 starting in 2018, creating four more scheduled off days. There are additional limitations on the start times of night games on getaway days.

-The minimum salary rises from $507,500 to $535,000 next year, $545,000 in 2018 and $555,000 in 2019, with cost-of-living increases the following two years; the minor league minimum for a player appearing on the 40-man roster for at least the second time goes up from $82,700 to $86,500 next year, $88,000 in 2018 and $89,500 in 2019, followed by cost-of-living raises.

-The drop-off in slot values in the first round of the amateur draft will be lessened.

-Oakland's revenue-sharing funds will be cut to 75 percent next year, 50 percent in 2018, 25 percent in 2019 and then phased out.

-As part of the drug agreement, there will be increased testing, players will not be credited with major league service time during suspensions, and biomarker testing for HGH will begin next year.

Negotiators met through most of Tuesday night in an effort to increase momentum in the talks, which began during spring training. This is the third straight time the sides reached a new agreement before the old contract expired, but a deal was struck eight weeks in advance in 2006 and three weeks ahead of expiration in 2011.

Talks took place at a hotel outside Dallas where the players' association held its annual executive board meeting.

Clark, the first former player to serve as executive director of the union, and others set up in a meeting room within earshot of a children's choir practicing Christmas carols. A man dressed as Santa Claus waited nearby.

Baseball had eight work stoppages from 1972-95, the last a 7 1/2-month strike in 1994-95 that led to the first cancellation of the World Series in 90 years. The 2002 agreement was reached after players authorized a strike and about 3 1/2 hours before the first game that would have been impacted by a walkout.

The peace in baseball is in contrast to the recent labor histories of other major sports. The NFL had a preseason lockout in 2011, the NBA lost 240 games to a lockout that same year and the NHL lost 510 games to a lockout in 2012-13.