Lester, Sox fend off Cubs, 4-3

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Lester, Sox fend off Cubs, 4-3

CHICAGO -- Jon Lester earned his first win in almost a month, tossing six shutout innings before allowing a three-run homer in the seventh, as the Red Sox held off the Chicago Cubs, 4-3, at Wrigley Field.

Lester hadn't allowed a baserunner to reach third base through six, but yielded a leadoff double to Jeff Baker, a one-out walk to Wellington Castillo and an opposite-field three-run homer to left by Luis Valbuena that shaved the Sox' lead to one.

But Scott Atchison got the final out of the seventh and Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves closed out the final two innings as Lester got a win for the first time since May 19, also an interleague contest.

Lester fanned eight and walked just one while improving to 4-4 for the season.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, hitting cleanup, belted a two-run homer in the fourth to give the Sox a 2-0 lead. Run-scoring singles from Will Middlebrooks in the sixth and Scott Podsednik in the seventh added to the Sox' advantage.

Podsednik had two more hits and has multi-hit games out of the leadoff spot in four of the five games on this road trip.

Alfredo Aceves allowed a leadoff single in the ninth but picked up a strikeout and a double play to end the game and lock down his 16th save.

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.