Francona's four candidates for manager

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Francona's four candidates for manager

Terry Francona's not on the search committee for the new Red Sox manager. But if he were . . .

"I'll give you four names," the former Red Sox manager and current ESPN analyst said on 'SportsCenter' Thursday afternoon. "And if this was my decision, this would be the direction I would want to go:

"Former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell has to be a name and it's already being thrown around. Now he's the manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, so there's some issues there.

"Former Sox coach and current Orioles third-base coach DeMarlo Hale. Well-respected.

"Former Sox coach and ex-Astros manager Brad Mills. Well-respected again.

"Current Sox bench coach Tim Bogar.

"All guys that have worked there in the past through the good times. They would immediately have the players' respect; I'm talking about Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester. Will Middlebrooks . . . "

Francona also dismissed the notion that those candidates would bring back the culture that led to the collapse in September 2011.

"We talked about . . . the change of culture in the clubhouse . . . There were some mistakes made last September, and that was under my charge. But that doesn't mean that everything's wrong."

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Sale hurls five shutout innings, Sandoval has two hits as Sox romp, 7-2

Chris Sale threw five shutout innings and Pablo Sandoval continued his torrid spring with two more hits as the Red Sox routed the Twins, 7-2, Sunday at the Twins' Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.

Red Sox-Twins box score

Sale allowed six hits, with one walk and six strikeouts, in his 91-pitch outing. Manager John Farrell had told reporters before the game that Sale was scheduled to throw between 95 and 100 pitches. He has 26 strikeouts and 2 walks in 21 spring-training innings.

Sandoval lifted his exhibition average to .370 with a 2-for-3 performance, which included a double.

The Red Sox also got home runs from Christian Vazquez, Andrew Benintendi and Steve Selsky as they rallied from a 1-0 deficit with three runs in the seventh inning and four in the eighth.

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Three-run HR from Sandoval (.353) leads Red Sox split squad past Rays, 7-5

Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla. 

Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.

He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.

Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.