Ross on Ortiz: 'He's on fire'

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Ross on Ortiz: 'He's on fire'

BOSTON -- For the last two games, Cody Ross has had the best seat in the house.
With David Ortiz at the plate, Ross has stood in the on-deck circle awaiting his turn and watching Ortiz inch closer to the 400 home run mark.
Ortiz hit his 399th career home run in Wednesday afternoon's 10-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. He finished the game 1-for-2 with three walks, an RBI, and four runs scored.
Ross was Boston's clean-up hitter, behind Ortiz on both Tuesday and Wednesday.
And while it's not exactly 762, Ross compared the experience to watching Major League Baseball's official home run king.
"He's on fire," said Ross after the win. "He's not getting too many pitches to hit. Almost Barry Bonds-ish. You can't have enough protection for him. But when he's getting that pitch, he's not missing it. And that was a perfect example today. I think he might have saw one strike, and he hit that ball out.
"I can't tell you how neat it is to stand on-deck and just watch him, and see him hit a homer and come around, and be able to give him a high-five. I mean, I'm a fan too. So, it's pretty neat."
Ortiz' solo blast to the right-field tunnel in the bottom of the fifth, that put Boston up 10-2, marked his 21st home run of the season. That's just eight home runs less than his total of 29 home runs in 146 games in 2011. And it's only June 27.
He had a chance to hit No. 400 during his final at-bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Ortiz struck out swinging on a 1-2 slider.
"It's coming, obviously," said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia after the win.
And if it doesn't come during this upcoming seven-game West-Coast road trip that begins Thursday night in Seattle?
"I'll get it done when I get back," said Ortiz with a smile and a wink after Wednesday's game.
Either way, Ortiz said that home run No. 400 isn't on his mind.
"Right now, that's not really something I think about," said Ortiz. "But I know that at some point, when I'm not playing, you start looking at things, and start realizing my good career I'll probably have.
"Right now, my focus is just on producing for this ball club and try to win some games, and put ourselves in a better situation."

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.