By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON In the end all the Sox wanted was a measly little win, and thats exactly what they earned.
Without the ailing David Ortiz or Kevin Youkilis and locked into a rut of four losses in their previous six games headed into Thursday nights tilt with the Kansas City Royals, the Sox eked out 4-3 victory over KC at steamy Kauffman Stadium.
The go-go Sox ran into a handful of outs on the base paths while working aggressively, but they also did just enough offensively with some gaping holes in their lineup while finishing with four stolen bases on the night.
The big blows were a couple of hits from Dustin Pedroia, who stepped up with so many of his teammates on the shelf. Pedroia smacked a two-run single up the middle in the top of the third inning, and collected the game-winner on a run-scoring single in the fifth that saw the second baseman also get gunned down trying to advance toward second base.
Josh Beckett was far from dominant, but he was just good enough to win in lasting seven innings and holding the Royals to three runs.
Luke Hochevar was nearly as good for the Royals, and things looked like they might go Kansas Citys way when Alex Gordon launched his 17th home run of the season over the left field fence in third frame. Gordons blast went opposite field on a Beckett breaking ball that actually a pretty fair piece of hitting, but it also represented the last bit of offense from the Royals.
After the home run, Beckett retired 14 of the final 18 batters he faced and scattered four singles in the final four innings. In all Beckett finished seven full walk-free frames and scattered three runs on seven hits while fanning four Royals hitters.
Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon locked things down over the final two innings to secure the one run win.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.
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.
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.