CLEVELAND Franklin Morales wasnt at his best Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians, but just about everyone agreed he pitched well enough to win.
The Sox left-hander struggled with his command while allowing four walks and a hit batsman in 5 13 innings of work. But he also allowed only a pair of hits and three runs, plenty good enough to keep the Sox in a game they eventually lost by a 5-2 score at Progressive Field.
I thought he was really good," said Bobby Valentine. "He threw a ball 3-1 down the middle to Brent Lillibridge for a home run and seemed to lose his control in the last inning. Other than that, he pitched pretty good. He pitched pretty damned good.
In the other games he had really good control of his offspeed stuff. Tonight he wasnt getting his curveball called for strikes and his changeup was just missing. But he pitched well enough to win. There is no doubt about that.
Morales dropped to 3-3 on the season and his sixth-inning performance was what eventually doomed him. He walked a pair of batters one intentionally and one not and hit a batter to load the bases, and was lifted from a 2-2 tied game with one out in the inning. Andrew Miller relieved Morales and allowed a Michael Brantley sacrifice fly to left field that scored Asdrubal Cabrera.
That proved to be the winning run, and that was the inning that Morales was kicking himself about after it was all over.
I tried to throw my curveball for strikes and I missed, said Morales. Sometimes thats the game. You try to avoid mistakes and make your pitches all the way through, but I missed in a few situations. I missed a couple of pitches in the sixth and got behind the count. Sometimes you miss and that happens some times.
I tried to hold my team in there the best I could and the guys tried to keep us in there the best they could in the field. It just wasnt meant for us today.
Instead the Sox lefty -- who has a 2.94 ERA and 57 strikeouts in his last 15 outings, dating back to June 3 -- will go back to the drawing board encouraged by the six strikeouts in 5 13 innings that easily display the kind of dominant stuff hes bringing to the pitchers mound as a starter.
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.
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.