Boston Red Sox

Red Sox first pick Marrero honored to be chosen

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Red Sox first pick Marrero honored to be chosen

BOSTON -- The Red Sox selected Arizona State junior Deven Marrero with their first-round pick (24th overall) in the First Year Player Draft, and the shortstop spoke to the media in a conference call on Tuesday, expressing his excitement to be selected by the Red Sox organization.

"This draft was interesting, and fun and exciting," said Marrero. "You had a lot of young players go in different spots. It was a fun draft, and I'm excited to be selected by the Red Sox. It's a great organization, and it's really an honor."

Marrero said the Red Sox have been following him since high school, and he's familiar with the New England area, as he's played in the Cape Cod League the last two years.

"That area up there is unbelievable," he said. "They love their sports, and they have a great reputation for every sport.

"It's a great vibe up there, and they all want to win and they all want championships. And going up there and getting that feel for that down the Cape was awesome. All the people who come to the Cape games and understand that you're part of the future. So, it was pretty cool."

Marrero hopes to make an impact in the organization as quickly as one of his fellow Sun Devils has in Dustin Pedroia.

"He's a unique player, but I'd like to put myself in his category, and hopefully do what he did," said Marrero. "Hopefully everything goes right, and I get a chance to do what he did."

If that's possible, he'll have to get back to what worked for him during his freshman season, win he had a team-leading .397 batting average. That average dipped to .315 his sophomore year, and eventually to .284 his junior year.

He called his junior year "different" because his team entered the season knowing they were banned from the postseason.

"I take away that this game's going to humble you," said Marrero. "This is baseball. Everyone has their year. Everyone has their time.

"I had to play through some injuries, and it was just a learning lesson for me, to keep my head straight and to continue playing and having fun. That's the main part."

He believes his offensive struggles -- if you want to call them that -- are fixable, as long as he continues to hit the ball hard, which he feels he did during his junior season, even though the batting average might not show it.

"My offensive game is, I'm a gap-to-gap guy," said Marrero. "And I felt like this year -- compared to my last two years -- balls just weren't getting through the infield. There were guys standing where my ball was landing. It's just one of those things. All I can control is hitting the ball. And from there on, the ball controls where it lands.

"I was focused. Nothing really different happened with my swing. It was just, I happened to be hitting the ball hard right at people, and that's just the way the game goes."

Sale gets strikeout No. 300 as Red Sox shut out O's, 9-0

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Sale gets strikeout No. 300 as Red Sox shut out O's, 9-0

BALTIMORE - Chris Sale struck out 13 to become the first AL pitcher in 18 years to reach the 300 mark, and the Boston Red Sox moved to the brink of clinching a playoff berth by beating the Baltimore Orioles 9-0 on Wednesday night.

Sale (17-7) reached the milestone on his last pitch, a called third strike against Ryan Flaherty to end the eighth inning. The last AL pitcher to fan 300 batters in a season was Boston's Pedro Martinez in 1999, when he set a club record with 313.

Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero homered for the Red Sox, who reduced their magic number for reaching the postseason to one. If the Angels lost to Cleveland later Wednesday night, Boston would be assured no worse than a wild-card spot in the AL playoffs.

The Red Sox, of course, would prefer to enter as AL East champions. They hold a three-game lead over the second-place Yankees with 10 games left.

After winning two straight 11-inning games over the skidding Orioles, Boston jumped to a 6-0 lead in the fifth and coasted to its 11th win in 14 games.

Sale notches his 300th strikeout of the season

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Sale notches his 300th strikeout of the season

BALTIMORE — One of the greatest seasons for a pitcher in Red Sox history saw a milestone toppled Wednesday night. 

In a dominant start vs. the Orioles at Camden Yards, Chris Sale became the first American League pitcher this century to strike out 300 batters in a season. He also put himself in striking distance of the Red Sox single-season record for Ks, 313.

Sale is the 14th different pitcher since 1920 to reach the 300 mark. The only other pitcher to do so in a Red Sox uniform was Pedro Martinez, who set the club record of 313 in 1999.

Sale was at 12 strikeouts and 99 pitches through seven innings Wednesday night with the Sox ahead 6-0. The offense added two more runs in the top of the inning, prompting Sox manager John Farrell to warm up righty Austin Maddox.

But Sale nonetheless took the mound. The first two batters of the inning grounded out. On a 2-2 pitch to the left-handed hitting Ryan Flaherty, Sale threw a front-door slider that caught Flaherty looking. It was his 111th pitch of the night.

Sale has two more scheduled starts, although he may only make one more. 

His final appearance of the regular season projects to be Game No. 162 against the Astros. If the Sox have the American League East wrapped up, Sale could well be held out of that game. 

The Sox and Astros meet for four games to end the regular season at Fenway Park, and may be first-round opponents if the Indians maintain the best record in the AL and therefore home field advantage.

The last time a pitcher in either league struck out 300 was 2015, when Clayton Kershaw did so for the Dodgers.

Sale was in line for his 17th win Wednesday, tying his career high.