Red Sox get over .500 mark for first time, beat Tigers, 6-3

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Red Sox get over .500 mark for first time, beat Tigers, 6-3

It took the Red Sox 49 games, but finally, they're over .500 for the first time this season. Strangely enough, they did it by beating Justin Verlander.

In their six previous tries to get over the break-even mark, the Sox had lost every time -- until Tuesday night.

The Sox pounded out 10 hits and scored five runs off the reigning American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner for a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers, giving them a winning record of 25-24.

David Ortiz drove in two runs with two doubles and a home run, while Daniel Nava had a bases-clearing double to lead the Sox to the win.

Daniel Bard allowed two runs -- both on solo homers over 5 13 innings. He evened his record at 5-5 with his second straight win and third in his last four starts.

Bobby Valentine nearly emptied his bullpen, using five relievers to get the final 11 outs, with Alfredo Aceves, who had given up homers in each of his last two outings, notching his 12th save.

STAR OF THE GAME: David Ortiz
Ortiz smacked two doubles and a homer and drove in two runs and scored twice.

Ortiz doubled to lead off the second and scored on a fielder's choice. In the fifth, with Adrian Gonzalez on first, he doubled him home before being thrown out attempting a triple. Finally, he hit an opposite-field line drive into the Monster Seats in the seventh for his 11th homer of the year.
HONORABLE MENTION: Daniel Nava
With the bases loaded in the fourth, Nava worked a full count off Justin Verlander with the bases loaded. He then sliced a double into the left field corner, and with all three runners going on the 3-and-2 pitch, the bases emptied and the Sox led 4-0.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Justin Verlander
The Detroit ace extended his streak of starts with at least six innings to 53 straight, but this was not his best outing. He allowed 10 hits -- a season high -- and five runs and didn't come out for the seventh inning.

TURNING POINT: Nava's double in the fourth opened up the game for Daniel Bard and gave him some breathing room against Verlander.

BY THE NUMBERS: This is the latest it's taken a Red Sox team to get over .500 since 1996, when the Sox didn't have a winning record until their 131st game.

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.