Buchholz loses mental battle, but earns eighth win

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Buchholz loses mental battle, but earns eighth win

BOSTON -- Tuesday night was nothing but a mental battle for Clay Buchholz.

Facing the same team in two consecutive starts is tough. And maybe even tougher when you have a dominant seven-inning performance in the first one.

Before Tuesday night, Buchholz last pitched on June 12, exactly one week from his second-consecutive start against the Miami Marlins. Only last Tuesday's game was on the road.

Buchholz allowed one run on five hits and two walks while striking out nine and picking up his third straight win.

Facing the Marlins again so quickly, he felt like that might have benefitted them, more than it did him.

"It's tough to win against a team that you pitched against in your last start," said Buchholz after Tuesday night's game. "It's sort of a mind game, I guess you could be playing with yourself or get in your own head a little bit, as far as, what you did the last time against them in the last game, and how you thought they'd prepare for you."

Those mind games led Buchholz to allow five runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out three in six innings. It wasn't quite the same Buchholz who had been downright dominant in his previous three outings, that's for sure. But fortunately for him, the Red Sox offense put up seven runs in six innings, to help Boston to a 7-5 win, and help Buchholz earn his team-leading eighth win of the season.

"It's interesting that Clay didn't have his great stuff tonight, and the offense seemed to sense it," said Valentine. "They were going to do what they had to do to get us enough runs.

"It was a long layoff, and his timing just was off. His changeup wasn't what it has been. His location with his fastball wasn't what it has been. But it's another notch in the win column, and that'll get him to come back strong."

All of Miami's damage came off the bat of designated hitter Logan Morrison, who finished the game 3-for-4 with two doubles a home run and all five RBI.

And speaking of winning mind games, Morrison apparently won his with Buchholz, because while Buchholz dominated his last start against the Marlins, Morrison drove in the only run against him in that game, with a solo home run.

Morrison followed it up by ripping a 3-1 fastball over the Red Sox bullpen for a two-run home run with two outs in the top of the first inning, putting the Marlins ahead 2-0.

He then went on to hit a two-out RBI double in his next at-bat in the third inning, cutting Boston's lead to 4-3.

And the third and final time that Morrison faced Buchholz on Tuesday night, he ripped a two-out double that scored two runs off the wall in left-center that tied the game at 5-5.

"The last time Morrison came up, I told myself that if I walk him, whatever, you know? And then he hits a double off the wall," said Buchholz. "So that about tells you how that went for me.

"You just tip your cap to him. He was locked in tonight. I think he's been locked in ever since we left their place."

Buchholz wasn't necessarily locked in on Tuesday night. But he got enough offense to pick up another win.

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.