Ortiz, Red Sox prepare for interleague games

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Ortiz, Red Sox prepare for interleague games

BOSTON The Red Sox begin a three-city, eight-day road trip Wednesday with two games in Tampa Bay and three in Philadelphia, before finishing with three in Baltimore.

David Ortiz was taking grounders at first base before Tuesdays series finale with the Mariners in preparation for the games against the Phillies.

I think hes fine. I think David could play first base, said manager Bobby Valentine. And Adrian Gonzalez looks all right in the outfield, too. I think David could play first base. So does Dustin Pedroia, so does Adrian, so does David, and thats whats more important.

Ortiz played two games at first last season, June 29 in Philadelphia and July 2 in Houston. He was a combined 0-for-6 with a walk, an RBI, and no errors in 18 chances over 13 innings in those games.

This will be Valentines first time managing during Interleague as an American League manager.

Its kind of weird, he said. It used to be that interleague was all at one time. Its a little challenging, middle of a series -- boom -- you play a few games in a series and switch back. But I guess its better for some reason.

Carl Crawford will be among those on the disabled list who will stay back in Boston during the trip. Darnell McDonald, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a right oblique strain, will travel with the team.

Andrew Bailey was expected to have his right thumb -- on which he had surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament on April 4 -- examined today in Cleveland by Dr. Thomas Graham, who performed the procedure.

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.