Red Sox lose third straight, fall to Orioles 2-1

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Red Sox lose third straight, fall to Orioles 2-1

BOSTON -- Josh Beckett turned in one of his best starts of the season. Not that it did him any good.
Beckett limited the Baltimore Orioles to two runs on five hits over eight innings, but his teammates managed little against three Baltimore pitchers, resulting in a 2-1 loss for the Red Sox.
Three straight singles from the bottom of the third of the order -- plus a fielder's choice -- resulted in the two Baltimore runs in the sixth off Beckett, 4-6.
The lone Boston run came in the third on a double from Darnell McDonald, a single by Marlon Byrd and a sacrifice fly from Mike Aviles.
The Sox had other chances, but failed to capitalize. They had runners at first and second with no one out in the seventh but after a sacrifice bunt by McDonald, starter Wei-Yin Chen fanned Byrd and retired Aviles on a pop-up.
A similar chance in the eight off reliever Pedro Strop also sputtered when, after one-out walks to Kevin Youkilisand David Ortiz, Will Middlebrooks and Scott Podsednik failed to advance either runner.
The eight innings for Beckett was the deepest he's pitched in a game since the home opener on April 13.
The loss, Boston's third in a row, dropped the Red Sox to 2-6 against Baltimore this season.

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. 

 

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

Sandoval: I got lazy after signing big contract with Red Sox

The Pablo Sandoval redemption tour is underway as the former World Series MVP tries to revive his career after two disastrous seasons with the Red Sox organization.

In an interview with ESPN Deportes, he admits to being “complacent” during his first two seasons in Boston after signing a five-year, $95 million deal. 

"My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished," Sandoval said. "I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be."

After dealing Travis Shaw to the Brewers, Sandoval is expected to be the Red Sox primary third baseman in 2017.

"I am not taking anything for granted," he said. "I am here to work hard. I'm not thinking about the position or not. I am starting from scratch, and I am here to show what I can do on the field."

The 30-year-old says he’s following a “really strict routine” this offseason, and it shows. In a recent photo, Sandoval appears noticeably thinner. Sandoval says his wife giving birth to “Baby Panda” has served as inspiration.

"Watching 'Baby Panda' grow up and that he gets the opportunity to see his father play in the majors for seven, eight more years, to get back to the success I had, that's my motivation every day," Sandoval said. "The people that I surround myself with now and my family, they are the key to my success. This has been a life lesson."