Red Sox notes: Middlebrooks homers, team loses series to Rangers

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Red Sox notes: Middlebrooks homers, team loses series to Rangers

BOSTON Will Middlebrooks tied the game with a three-run home run, capping a four-run fourth inning Wednesday against the Tigers. It went for naught, as the Red Sox lost, 10-9, in the ninth inning.The home run off Roy Oswalt, came on an 0-and-2 fastball with no outs.He started me with two curveballs, and after the swing after the second one I figured hed try to blow a fastball by me up, a little bit, Middlebrooks said.It was his 15th homer of the season, giving him home runs in back-to-back games along with his pinch-hit blast, the first of his career, Tuesday. It was the second time this season hes hit home runs in the seventh inning or later in back-to-back games (third overall for the Sox). Middlebrooks also accomplished the feat on June 20 -21 against the Marlins.The home run, off Roy Oswalt scoring Cody Ross and Adrian Gonzalez, gave him 54 RBI this season, putting him into elite company. Since 1918, the only other Sox batter with as many as 15 home runs and 54 RBI in his first 73 career games in a single season was Ted Williams, with 15 home runs and 77 RBI in 1939. (Walt Dropo, Norm Zachin, and Fred Lynn reached those numbers, but in multiple seasons.)Middlebrooks tied Joe Foy in 1966 and Frank Malzone in 1957 for the most home runs by a rookie third baseman in team history.Hes playing defense really well and feeling really good about himself and I think hes developing into a fine ballplayer, said manager Bobby Valentine. Hes really confident and we always have confidence in him.The Sox ended the homestand with a record of 4-6.
They concluded their season series against the Rangers with a record of 2-6, and have lost 10 of their last 13 home games against the Rangers, getting outscored, 94-54.
Cody Ross went 3-for-4 with a walk and a solo home run, extending his hitting streak to six games, matching a season high. He has hit in 11 of his last 12 games, batting .362, going 17-for-47, with five multi-hit games this month. He had gone 17 games between home runs, his longest stretch of the season.The home run off Rangers starter Matt Harrison was his 17th of the season, his 10th of the season off a left-hander, is one shy of his career high 11 in 2009. He has a .730 slugging percentage off lefties this season. Nine of his last 20hits have been off lefties.Carl Crawford went 1-for-5 with a run scored and a triple. He has a season-high six-game hitting streak, and has hit in 11 of his last 12 games, at a .327 clip with 10 extra-base hits and 12 RBI, after no extra-base hits and 1 RBI in his first nine games coming off the disabled list.
The triple was the 114th of his career, most among active players.David Ortiz said after the game he is hoping to play during the four-game series in Cleveland, if everything goes well... I dont have a table set, he said. Not yet but Im getting closer.

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.