Boston Red Sox

Red Sox, Valentine reach agreement on managerial position

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Red Sox, Valentine reach agreement on managerial position

Concluding the most drawn-out managerial search in recent baseball history, the Red Sox reached agreement with Bobby Valentine to become their new manager Tuesday night, nearly nine weeks after the process to find a replacement for Terry Francona began.

Valentine, who was offered the job while in Japan this week, is expected to return to the United States Wednesday, will likely be introduced at a Fenway Park press conference Thursday.

Valentine, who emerged late in the process as something of a stealth candidate -- he already met with team president and CEO Larry Lucchino and general manager Ben Cherington before he was acknowledged to be under consideration -- beat out Detroit Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont for the post.

As of Wednesday night, the Red Sox had not informed Lamont of their decision to go with Valentine.

Valentine, 61, brings 15 years of managerial experience in the big leagues after eight seasons with the Texas Rangers and seven more with the New York Mets. He later managed in Japan and more recently, worked for ESPN as a color analyst on the network's Sunday Night Baseball telecasts.

He owns a .510 winning percentage in the major leagues. He directed the New York Mets to the 2000 National League pennant, but reached the post-season just twice in 15 years and only twice did his teams win 90 or more games in the regular season.

Valentine, a standout amateur player in his native Connecticut, played parts of 10 seasons in the big leagues for five different teams, but never achieved the stardom that was predicted for him after a gruesome leg injury in 1973.

"Polarizing" is perhaps the word that best describes Valentine, who is viewed as an ardent student of the game, a brilliant strategist, innovative and driven to win by his supporters while his detractors see him as sometimes manipulative, arrogant and divisive.

Valentine becomes the fourth Red Sox manager under the current ownership group since 2002, following Joe Kerrigan -- who was fired before managing a regular season game for the group -- Grady Little and Francona.

Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

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Red Sox move closer to AL East title with 5-0 win over Reds

CINCINNATI - Mitch Moreland ended his long slump with a three-run homer, Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning, and the Boston Red Sox took another step toward a second straight AL East title, beating the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Saturday.

Boston has won 13 of 16, holding off the Yankees as it tries to win back-to-back East titles for the first time since divisional realignment in 1969. The Red Sox have their best record of the season at 90-64, reaching 90 wins for the second year in a row.

They remain four games in front of the Yankees, who beat Toronto 5-1.

Moreland was in an 0-for-19 slump when he connected off Robert Stephenson (5-6) in the sixth inning, his 20th homer of the season but only his second in September. The Red Sox are last in the AL with 160 homers.

Rodriguez (6-6) has given up two or fewer earned runs in each of his last four starts, the best stretch of his career. The left-hander gave up three singles and two walks in 7 2/3 innings, his longest outing since May 21.

The Red Sox have shutout victories in three of their last four games, including two at Baltimore. They are 7-1 on a trip that ends Sunday. Boston wraps up the regular season at Fenway Park with three games against Toronto and four against Houston.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, who grew up in suburban Madeira and had hundreds of relatives and friends in the stands for the series, singled home a run in the seventh at the ballpark where he regularly attended games as a youth.

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

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Betts (foot), Pedroia (knee) out of Red Sox lineup

Mookie Betts, who fouled a ball off his left foot Friday night, and Dustin Pedroia, who has been bothered by a knee injury almost all season, were out of the Red Sox lineup Saturday against the Reds in Cincinnati.

Chris Young started in right field for Betts and Brock Holt at second base for Pedroia.

Betts was scratched from the original lineup but was a late scratch. Pedroia, who had been getting intermittent days off to rest his knee was originally expected to play but needed treatement and hopes to be able to play Sunday, according to Scott Lauber of ESPN. 

Manager John Farrell told reporters, including Christopher Smith of MassLive.com, that Betts "was hindered by it last night in the second half of that game. [He] woke up a little bit more sore. Went through treatment. But felt it was best to give him a day to fully recover and get some additional treatment."

The manager added that Betts was available to pinch hit Saturday and did not have X-rays, but that step could be taken if there's no improvement in the next 24 hours.