Gonzalez makes his 1,000th hit a memorable one

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Gonzalez makes his 1,000th hit a memorable one

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen

BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez needed just a triple to hit for the cycle Friday night.

Yeah, that ain't gonna happen, he joked at the time.

On Sunday afternoon against the Brewers at Fenway Park, Gonzalez hit his 1,000th career hit.

And sure enough, it was a triple.

Its definitely something that you dont think about when you come into the league, he said of the milestone hit. But its nice to get it and move on. I always said statistics arent something I focus on. Its nice to get there but its already behind us.

While Gonzalez was nonplussed by the milestone, manager Terry Francona was impressed.

He's not going to stop at 1,000 hits, Francona said. Youll probably see 2,000 down the road a little bit. Hes a pretty good hitter.

Gonzalez, who will never be known for his speed, found the irony that the milestone came on a triple, into the triangle in center field.

I never drew that up, especially on something (the 1,000-hit plateau) you never even think you're going to get close to, he said. So, its nice to get and nice to put it behind and keep going and focus on some more."

His three triples this season (11 in his career) are just one behind team leader Carl Crawford.

I was telling speedster Jacoby Ellsbury, who has two, I got more triples than you do. Whats going on? Gonzalez said. He just said, Hey, you're faster than me.

When I hit it I was thinking double and once it got into that corner out there and I was pretty close to second base, I said if they throw me out from out there that means that Im really, really, really slow

Just as he was unimpressed by his milestone, Gonzalez is equally unfazed at the prospect of facing the Padres over the next three games. Gonzalez, a San Diego native, spent the past five seasons with the Padres, for whom he hit. 288, with 161 home runs, 501 RBI, slugging .514 with an on-base percentage of .374.

Another series, he said. I got a lot of friends on a lot of teams. So Im going to treat it just like another series. Im definitely going to hang out with the guys and talk to them. I mean, Ive been on the phone with them the whole season so its not like I havent talked to them. But once the game starts its just another series, another game.

Its just another series. I dont like to look into things like that.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

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.