BOSTON In their quest to find the 46th manager in team history and second in less than a year after Bobby Valentine was fired two weeks ago, the Red Sox interviewed DeMarlo Hale on Thursday. This appears to conclude the interview process for candidates not named John Farrell.Of the four candidates who met with the Sox Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Yankees bench coach Tony Pena, and Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, along with Hale only Pena has major league managerial experience, leading the Royals from 2002 2005. He was named the 2003 American League Manager of the Year. Wallach has managed in the minor leagues, while Ausmus has no coaching or managerial experience.But, Hale, 51, has paid his dues, and knows the Red Sox roster and organization better than any of the other three candidates. Before serving as the Orioles third base coach in 2012, he had spent the previous six seasons on the staff of former Sox manager Terry Francona, the first four years as third base coach, the last two as bench coach.The Chicago native was a 17th-round pick of the Sox in 1983 and spent five seasons in the Sox minor league system. He began his professional coaching career in the Sox organization in 1992, becoming a manager the next season. In 1999, his Double-A Trenton Thunder went 92-50, and he was named the Eastern Leagues Manager of the Year, and minor league Manager of the Year by three national outlets Baseball America, The Sporting News, and USA Today.He went to the Rangers in 2000 to manage their Triple-A team, joining the major league team as first base and outfield coach for 2002 2005 when Buck Showalter, now the Os manager, was the Rangers manager for Hales last three seasons in Texas before returning to the Sox and the major league coaching staff.Hale has interviewed for several other major league manager jobs in recent years including the Blue Jays, Mariners, and Mets. He also met with the Sox in 2003 after Grady Little was fired, in the search that led to Franconas eight-year tenure with the Sox.Hale was not interviewed by the Sox last year, though, in the process that led to Valentine being named manager on Dec. 1, the Sox apparently believing Franconas bench coach was too close to the issues that resulted in the historic collapse of September 2011. It was not until the winter meetings in early December, though, that Valentine announced Hale would not be returning to the team.But, now, a year removed from the Sox, he is under consideration to be their next manager. Or is he? Are any of the four interviewees viable candidates? Or are the Sox just biding their time until they can work out compensation with Toronto to extricate Farrell from his position with the Blue Jays? This is the second consecutive year the Sox have tried to lure Farrell to be their manager. Talks between the teams last year ended when the Jays requested Clay Buchholz in return for releasing Farrell from his contract. But Farrell now has just one year remaining on his contract with Toronto after posting a combined record of 154-170 in his first two seasons as a big league manager.It appears Farrell remains their top choice. But, they could certainly do worse than naming Hale.
Three things we learned from the Boston Red Sox' 7-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Quotes, notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 7-2 win over the Orioles.
"He was able to neutralize their top half (of the lineup) and that was the biggest thing.'' - John Farrell on Steven Wright.
"He never broke stride, continued in a full-out gait around third base. It was a good heads-up play on his part.'' - Farrell on Mookie Betts scoring all the way from second on a swinging bunt.
"It kind of throws them off because then if I leave one up, I'm hoping the difference in the speed will get them out front.'' - Steven Wright on changing speeds on the knuckleball.
"Yeah, I do. Off the field. Not when I'm at the park, but off the field, I do.'' - Xander Bogaerts, acknowledging that he does think about his ongoing hitting streak.
"It was amazing. Hitting my first home run and putting us ahead three (more) runs, it's awesome.'' - Marco Hernandez on his first major league home run.
* Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 23 games with two doubles.
* Marco Hernandez's three-run homer in the eighth inning was his first major league homer.
* Mookie Betts has now reached in 13 straight games against the Orioles.
* Betts has scored 14 runs in his last 11 games.
* In his last seven games, David Ortiz is 14-for-28 in his last seven games.
* Ortiz has seven homers in his last 12 games at Camden Yards and 12 homers in his last 16 games here.
* Ortiz has homered in each of his last three games, the 18th time in his career that he's done that.
* Steven Wright tossed a career-high 122 pitches.
* Wright became the third Red Sox starter to toss three consecutive complete games on the road since Roger Clemens in 1991-92.
1) Steven Wright
Wright's third complete game of the season was a gem, with just four hits allowed - just three them into the outfield. He's got a 1.79 ERA on the road this season.
2) Xander Bogaerts
In addition to extending his hitting streak to 23 games, Bogaerts had two doubles and knocked in two runs.
3) Marco Hernandez
Hernandez's first big league homer was a big one, extending what had been a two-run lead to a five-run cushion with a three-run blast in the eighth
BALTIMORE -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 7-2 win over the Orioles:
* Steven Wright had six 1-2-3 innings among the nine he pitched.
For a brief time in the second, after two were out, Wright battled command. Then, in the fifth, he yielded three straight hits and a sacrifice fly, accounting for the only two runs he allowed.
Otherwise? Wright carved through the Baltimore lineup, facing the minimum number of hitters in six of the nine other innings and one over the minimum in another.
He got a number of weak squibbers - including a couple he fielded himself and of the four hits he allowed, only three left the infield.
* Mookie Betts stole the first Red Sox run with some alert baserunning.
Betts was on second when Xander Bogaerts hit a tapped in front of the mound.
Catcher Caleb Joseph pounced on the ball about 15 feet from home plate, but then stood there after throwing out Bogaerts at first. With home plate unguarded, Betts got to third and alertly kept going, beating the throw home from first baseman Chris Davis.
Betts is the probably the Red Sox' fastest baserunner, but in instances like that one, he showed he's also one of their smartest.
* David Ortiz is a menace at Camden Yards.
There's a reason John Farrell waited to make out the lineup card, hoping that David Ortiz was available after missing Sunday's game with a sore foot. Ortiz usually makes his presence felt here and Monday was no different.
He homered to right to lead off the eighth, giving him seven homers in his last 10 games at Camden Yards and 12 homers in his last 28 games.
If Ortiz played for the Orioles, it's frightening to think what sort of power numbers he could put up playing half the time in a ballpark with an inviting right field porch.
* The Sox have gotten plenty of contributions from bench players.
Josh Rutledge (.830 OPS) has helped out in the infield, with Brock Holt relegated to LF, and more recently, the DL. On Monday, it was Marco Hernandez's turn. Hernandez supplied a three-run homer from the ninth spot in the eighth inning, turning a two-run lead into a five-run advantage.
Their contributions have allowed Farrell to make some moves around the infield, such as Monday's decision to give Hanley Ramirez a day off while shifting Travis Shaw to first.
Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter @Sean_McAdam.