Middlebrooks leads Sox to 6-5 victory over Marlins, series sweep

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Middlebrooks leads Sox to 6-5 victory over Marlins, series sweep

BOSTON -- For the past month, Will Middlebrooks and Kevin Youkilis have essentially been sharing playing time. But Thursday night, Middlebrooks may have put an end to the job-share.
Middlebrooks delivered two of the first three Red Sox runs with RBI singles, then blasted a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, setting the stage for a dramatic Red Sox comeback win, 6-5, over the Miami Marlins.
Daniel Nava, who had four hits Wednesday night, added two more, the second of which scored Ryan Kalish from third base with the winning run. Kalish had shown great hustle immediately prior to Nava's at-bat, speeding from first to third on a groundout to the right side.
The win was the fifth in a row and gave the Red Sox their first sweep of a series three games or longer at Fenway since last July.
Alfredo Aceves notched the save, his 18th of the season.
The Sox had fallen behind quickly when starter Daisuke Matsuzaka had one of his typically rocky first innings, needing 33 pitches to escape after allowing three runs on three hits and a walk and three stolen bases.
Matsuzaka self-corrected after that, retiring 14 in a row before a solo homer by Giancarlo Stanton ended his night with one out in the sixth. The Marlins added another run off Andrew Miller that inning, setting the stage for Middlebrooks' heroics in the eighth.
The Sox chipped away at Miami's 3-0 edge when Middlebrooks singled home baserunners in the fourth and fifth. A sacrifice fly from Mike Aviles accounted for the other Red Sox run.
Scott Atchison got the win with two shutout innings of relief.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.