Podsednik slots right back into lineup

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Podsednik slots right back into lineup

CLEVELAND Scott Podsednik and the Red Sox liked each other so much during their first stint together that theyre going for the sequel.

The Sox signed Podsednik to a big league deal on Thursday and hes been inserted into the starting lineup batting ninth and playing left field for Friday nights game against the Cleveland Indians. Podsednik was excellent for the Sox while filling in during a period of injuries, and hit .387 with one homer and seven RBI and a .893 OPS in 62 at-bats while filling in as an emergency outfielder during Jacoby Ellsbury's absence in the first half of the year.

Rookie outfielder Ryan Kalish was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Podsednik, and it was largely about a veteran hand being better equipped to play in a reserve role.

Thats been Podsedniks lot in life at many points during his long big league career.

Hes back! proclaimed Bobby Valentine. We felt it was just a little upgrade over the way Ryan Kalish was performing. Its a little bit of an upgrade to an experienced guy thats used to not playing all the time. Kalish is a good, young player, but he was a little lost this time around. He couldnt get untracked.

Podesdnik is playing in place of Carl Crawford, who will get a scheduled day off with an early 6 pm game on Saturday against the Indians.

That way hell be fresh for the Baltimore and Yankees series, said Valentine.

The outfielder was happy to be back in the fold after refusing a minor league assignment from the Arizona Diamondbacks club he was sent to in exchange for Craig Breslow, and hoped to hit the ground running for the Sox. Hes been inactive for the last 10 days since the July 31 deadline deal to the D-Backs, but part of his value is veteran ability to perform at a high level with sporadic playing time.

I enjoyed my time here. I know these guys and they know me. Its a good fit and its another opportunity to play at this level. So it was a no-brainer, said Podsednik. I cant be that picky. Ben Cherington called and expressed interest and it was a no-brainer from there.

Well hit today in batting practice, Ill hit a few, get loose and go out there and compete.

The Sox lineup was otherwise consistent with Kelly Shoppach catching Clay Buchholz and the regulars rounding out the starting nine.

1. CF Ellsbury
2. SS Aviles
3. 2B Pedroia
4. 1B Gonzalez
5. RF Ross
6. 3B Middlebrooks
7. DH Lavarnway
8. C Shoppach
9. LF Podsednik

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.