Cano tops Gonzalez in Home Run Derby

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Cano tops Gonzalez in Home Run Derby

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
PHOENIX -- Just like seemingly everything else in Major League Baseball, the Home Run Derby Monday night came down to a battle between the Red Sox and Yankees.

With the American League already assured of a one-sided victory, the final round came down to Adrian Gonzalez vs. Robinson Cano.

After Gonzalez belted 11 homers in his turn to set a record for most homers in the final round, Cano topped him, hitting 12 and winning the title.

David Ortiz's American Leaguers finished with 76 homers to just 19 for Prince Fielder's National League squad.

"That was a lot of fun, said an exhausted Gonzalez. "Cano did an unbelievable job. He deserved to win -- he hit homers a lot farther than I did. I just got them over the fence and it was fun to make it to the finals.

Gonzalez said he didn't feel this represented another chapter of the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry.

"No, it didn't, said Gonzalez. "It was National League vs. American League and we put a pretty good whipping on them.

Gonzalez confessed he was "beat. You get to that 15-swing range and you're just focused on what pitches to swing at and all that goes out that door.

The Red Sox first baseman helped set the tone with nine homers in the first round.

"You really don't have an approach, said Gonzalez. "You just try to hit home runs. You try to get a good pitch to hit.

That was my only thing going in because in St. Louis (in 2009), I was really antsy and I didn't take a lot of pitches. I didn't focus enough on getting a good pitch.

Until about 20 minutes before the event, Gonzalez didn't have anybody picked out to throw to him in the Derby. He had hoped to have his older brother David pitch to him, but his brother couldn't make it. He then tried his former high school coach, who also was unavailable.

Looking for volunteers, Gonzalez found Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta, who is serving as a coach for the American League All-Star team.

"He quickly found where I liked the ball, said Gonzalez, "and he did a great job of just grooving it in there. There wasn't any choice. I was asking around and he said, 'All right, I'll do it.'

Ortiz, who selected the squad, joked that he proved he could be a manager.

"Tito, look out, man, said Ortiz. "Im coming to get your job. I made the right choice. It was an unbelievable show between Robinson and my teammate, Gonzo. What Cano did out there was unbelievable.

Ortiz admitted that he thought about the Red Sox-Yankee showdown in the final round.

"I thought about that for a minute, said Ortiz. "But in the end, you really want either one especially from your team to win. But the most important thing was to put on a good show for the fans.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

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.