Lackey's struggles continue, at worst possible time

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Lackey's struggles continue, at worst possible time

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- John Lackey left Friday's game after three innings when he was struck on the left calf on a hard comebacker by Tampa Bay catcher John Jaso.

But Lackey might have been close to leaving anyway, having been lit up for five runs while needing 69 pitches to record the game's first nine outs.

"I could keep going back out there,'' said Lackey after the Sox lost to Tampa, 7-2. "But obviously I wasn't pitching very well and I wasn't helping out much, anyway.''

Lackey mislocated on a fastball down-and-in to Jaso in the second and Jaso drilled it for a three-run homer. In the third, he retired the first two hitters he faced, then allowed the next five hitters to reach, accounting for two more runs.

"I don't know, man . . . just didn't work out,'' said Lackey, who dropped to 12-12 while his ERA soared to 6.30.

Lackey has now lost three straight starts and has given up 15 runs in those three outings. At a time of year when the Sox need quality starts, Lackey seems incapable of providing them.

"I'm going to keep grinding and see what happens,'' said Lackey. "It's not fun. There is definitely some frustration. I kind of want to go bang my head against a wall. I just have to keep working at it. I'm doing everything I can, it's just not working out.''

It's unclear whether the calf contusion is going to cost him any time before his next start. Tentatively, the Sox had him slated to start Wednesday against Toronto at Fenway.

"The ball caught all flesh,'' said Terry Francona, "so that, in the big scheme of things, is good. It's sore. He got hit hard. They've got compression and ice on it and everything, so hopefully, he'll show up Saturday and it will subside enough so that he can make his next start. We'll keep an eye on him.''

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.