Twins blank Red Sox, 5-0

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Twins blank Red Sox, 5-0

BOSTON -- This one can't be blamed on Jon Lester.
In his best start in a month, Lester allowed three runs over eight innings, but his teammates produced just two hits as the Red Sox were shut out by the Minnesota Twins, 5-0.
It was the fifth time this season that the Sox have been held scoreless.
Worse, they were beaten by 29-year-old journeyman Sam Deduno, who was making just his fifth career start in the majors. The Sox didn't collect a hit off him until Adrian Gonzalez doubled to left with one out in the fourth. The only other hit off Deduno was also by Gonzalez -- a two-out single in the sixth.
Deduno walked four in six innings, but the Sox couldn't capitalize on his wildness, going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
The Twins, who entered the night with third-worst record in the league, used two two-out hits off Lester to score twice in the third. A two-out double by Ryan Doumit in the sixth accounted for the third run off Lester.
Brian Dozier added a two-run homer off Alfredo Aceves in the ninth to pad the lead.
The loss was the second straight for the Red Sox and dropped them back to the .500 mark (53-53). They dropped to 15-25 in games started by Lester and Josh Beckett.

STAR OF THE GAME: Sam DedunoMaking just the fifth start of his major league career, Deduno limited the Sox to just two hits -- both by Adrian Gonzalez -- through six innings, becoming the first Twins pitcher since Scott Erickson in 1992 to throw at least six innings with two hits or fewer.

HONORABLE MENTION: Brian DozierThe Minnesota shortstop collected three hits, scored twice and knocked in two runs. His two-run homer in the ninth off reliever Alfredo Aceves sealed the victory for Minnesota.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Red Sox offenseGive Deduno credit, but some blame must go to the Red Sox for being shut out. The Sox were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and didn't take advantage of the four walks Deduno issued.

TURNING POINT: In the sixth inning, the Sox got a two-out single from Gonzalez followed by a walk, but couldn't capitalize. They didn't get a baserunner over the final three innings.
BY THE NUMBERS: Adrian Gonzalez has walked in three straight games after going without a walk in the previous 29 games.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I threw the hell out of the ball tonight. I don't think I've thrown in better all year.'' Jon Lester.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

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. 

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. 

 

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.