BOSTON For the second time in as many games, Cody Ross punished Chicago pitchers. This time it was a walk-off three-run blast into the Monster seats to give the Red Sox a 3-1 win.It was Ross third three-run home run in the last two games, giving him 16 home runs and 50 RBI this season.Carl Crawford led off the ninth with a single off White Sox reliever Matt Thornton, but was erased on Dustin Pedroias fielders choice. Adrian Gonzalezs single put runners on first and second, and ended Thorntons outing. Closer Addison Reed entered. Ross blasted Reeds third pitch -- a 1-and-1, 95-mph fastball -- over the left field wall for the walk-off win.Thornton and Reed combined to waste an admirable effort by rookie left-hander Jose Quintana, went eight scoreless innings, giving up five hits with no walks, two strikeouts, and a wild pitch.Alfredo Aceves replaced Clay Buchholz in the ninth to earn the win, Aceves first of the season, as he improved to 1-6 with a 3.97 ERA.Buchholz went eight innings, giving up one run on six hits and a walk, with six strikeouts. He lowered his ERA from 5.54 to 5.19.Chicago scored in the fourth when Adam Dunn led off with a walk off Buchholz. Paul Konerko followed with a single to right, sending Dunn to third. Alex Rios sacrifice fly to right scored Dunn, giving Chicago the 1-0 advantage.After pummeling the White Sox for 10 runs on 14 hits on Wednesday, the Red Sox were mostly handcuffed by Quintana on Thursday.The Sox could muster just one baserunner off Quintana over the first six innings, on a Pedro Ciriaco third-inning, two-out triple. But Jacoby Ellsbury struck out to end the inning, stranding Ciriaco at third.Before the ninth, the Sox best scoring chance came in the seventh. After Carl Crawford grounded out, consecutive singles by Dustin Pedroia, Alex Gonzalez, and Cody Ross loaded the bases for Will Middlebrooks. But Middlebrooks hit into a double play, ending the inning.Holding the White Sox scoreless in the first, Buchholz snapped a streak of Red Sox pitchers of allowing a run in the first inning. Sox pitchers had allowed at least one run in the first inning in the last 10 games at home since June 10, with a total of 24 runs in that span.In the ninth, Aceves gave up a two-out single to Dayan Viciedo and a ground-rule double to Gordon Beckham, but got Eduardo Escobar to ground out to end the inning.Thornton was charged with the loss, falling to 2-6 with a 3.86 ERA. Reed was charged with his third blown save.
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Looks like I won't be allowed to visit Japan for the next 4 years. 😂😂😂 https://t.co/BCGnvpFWLh— Kevin Youkilis (@KYouk_2036) December 9, 2016
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
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.