Valentine lauded reliever Andrew Miller, who has had a break-out year in the Boston bullpen.
Miller is 3-1 with a 3.29 ERA while limiting opposing hitters to a .191 batting average. He's also stranded 37-of-42 inherited runners, good for an 88.1 success rate, third-best among American League relievers.
"I think Andrew's developed into a terrific pitcher," said Valentine. "I think he started in a very questionable place and now has a very secure foot-hold on being able to compete at the major league level. I think he can be a dominating force in the bullpen."
Lefties are hitting just .134 (11-for-82) off Miller this season and he's registered 47 strikeouts in 38 13 innings and has held opponents scoreless in 40 of his 49 appearances.
"He can be very proud of his development," said Valentine. "And he's still developing. He's working on a two-seam changeup to righthanders that I will think will put him a little over the edge next year, into another
Miller has had some difficulty with righties, who have hit him at a .278 clip. Hence, the work on the changeup to give him another weapon when facing righties.
For tonight, the Boston Red Sox can say "thank you" to the New York Yankees.
Despite the Toronto Blue Jays loading the bases with no out in the ninth, the Yankees hold on to beat the Blue Jays, 7-5. The result moves the Red Sox' magic number in the AL East to just one game.
David Price will take the mound for the Red Sox on Tuesday night against those very Yankees with a chance to clinch the division.
They can also clinch the AL East with a Toronto loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
MIAMI - Dee Gordon hit an emotional homer in Miami's first at-bat following the death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez in a boating accident.
Leading off the first inning Monday night against the New York Mets, Gordon pulled a 2-0 pitch from Bartolo Colon over the wall in right for his first homer of the season.
Gordon circled the bases slowly and was crying when he reached home plate. He tapped his chest and waved toward the sky, and then sobbed as teammates hugged him in the dugout.
Gordon took the first pitch batting right-handed, in tribute to the right-handed Fernandez. Gordon then switched to his normal left side.
Fernandez died Sunday morning, prompting the Marlins to cancel their game that day against Atlanta.