Butler's home run leads Royals to 6-4 win

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Butler's home run leads Royals to 6-4 win

KANSAS CITY -- Matt Albers took the longest scoreless game streak of any Red Sox reliever to the mound in the eighth inning.

Neither he nor it lasted long.

Called on to help protect a 4-3 lead after starter Daniel Bard walked the first two hitters of the inning, Albers gave up a three-run homer to Billy Butler, sending the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 comeback win over the Red Sox.

Albers was not scored upon over his previous seven outings and had allowed just one run over his last 13 13 innings before
Butler struck.

The Sox had snapped a 3-3 tie in the fifth when Nick Punto's takeout slide forced a throwing error by second baseman Chris Getz, allowing Adrian Gonzalez to score all the way from second base.

Boston had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring single by Kelly Shoppach and a bases-loaded walk to Dustin Pedroia.

Bard endured a brutal second inning in which he balked twice, walked one and threw a wild pitch as Kansas City scored three times.

He retired 11 of the next 13 hitters he faced and allowed just three hits from the third through the seventh inning.

The loss was the sixth in the last seven games for the Red Sox.
STAR OF THE GAME - Billy Butler.

With one swing of the bat, the Royals DH turned a one-run deficit into a two-run lead -- and eventually, a Kansas City victory -- with his three-run homer in the eighth inning.

It was the sixth time this season that a Butler home run had
put the Royals ahead.
HONORABLE MENTION - Kansas City bullpen

After starter Danny Duffy was chased in the fifth inning, three Royals relievers -- Kelvin Herrera, Jose Mijares and Jonathan Broxton -- combined to blank the Red Sox over the final 4 23 innings.
GOAT OF THE GAME - Matt Albers

Albers served up the game-winning, three-run belt to Butler, snapping a streak of seven consecutive scoreless appearances.

TURNING POINT - The two walks issued by Daniel Bard -- who had walked just two in the previous seven innings -- to start the eighth inning helped set up the homer for Butler.
BY THE NUMBERS - The game marked the third time -- and second year in
a row -- that Adrian Gonzalez had a multi-hit game in his birthday.

QUOTE OF NOTE - "It's kind of where I'm at right now -- trying to learn
how to finish games, get through that 100-110 pitches while feeling strong
to the end.'' -- Daniel Bard.

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

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Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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