Red Sox' bats explode in 14-5 win over Padres


Red Sox' bats explode in 14-5 win over Padres

By Sean McAdam Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
BOSTON -- For 6 12 innings, a game between the team with best record in the American League and one with the third-worst record in the National League was surprisingly close.

Then reality set in.

The Red Sox, with great help from the San Diego Padres' bullpen, ripped off 10 runs in the bottom of the seventh to waltz to a 14-5 victory in interleague play.

In the seventh alone, San Diego pitchers walked four and hit two others as the Sox scored nine runs after two were out. The 10 runs came in an inning when the Sox had just five hits, two from Adrian Gonzalez, who knocked in three runs against his former team with a double and single.

The Sox had a 3-0 lead after five, thanks to a run-scoring single and RBI-double from David Ortiz plus a bases-loaded double play from Jacoby Ellsbury.

But the Padres knotted things in the sixth when Orlando Hudson, fresh off the disabled list, launched a three-run homer into the Monster Seats, spoiling an otherwise impressive Red Sox debut from Andrew Miller.

Miller pitched 5 23 innings, allowing three runs while walking three and striking out six.

Matt Albers, who stranded a runner in the sixth and pitched a scoreless seventh, picked up the win.

STAR OF THE GAME: Adrian Gonzalez
Just in case the Padres forgot how good their former first baseman was, he reminded them with three hits and three RBI.

Gonzalez had a first inning single, then came up twice in the 10-run seventh, delivering a run-scoring double and then a two-run single.

Miller missed out on getting the win when he gave up a three-run homer to Orlando Hudson, but there was plenty to like about his Red Sox debut.

He pitched 5 23 innings, struck out six and walked three. His fastball regularly registered in the mid-90s and he limited the damage well, particularly in the fourth when he allowed a leadoff triple to Jesus Guzman, but stranded him there.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Ernesto Frieri
The Padres' reliever Frieri faced five hitters in the seventh inning, retiring the first (Kevin Youkilis) on a flyout. He then walked two and hit two -- both with the bases loaded -- and was charged with four runs in just one-third of an inning.

TURNING POINT: When the visitor's bullpen door opener with one out in the seventh...and three walks, two hits batsman and four hits followed in the Red Sox' 10-run uprising.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox are averaging slightly more than 11 runs per game in their five interleague victories this season.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "Generally, I think it was very good...I certainly want to avoid (walks), but they didn't pile up. I was able to throw all three pitches for strikes, most of the time.'' Andrew Miller, evaluating his own command.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945


NLCS: Cubs eliminate Dodgers, reach Series for first time since 1945

CHICAGO -- Cursed by a Billy Goat, bedeviled by Bartman and crushed by decades of disappointment, the Chicago Cubs are at long last headed back to the World Series.

Kyle Hendricks outpitched Clayton KershawAnthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras homered early and the Cubs won their first pennant since 1945, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 Saturday night in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series.

The drought ended when closer Aroldis Chapman got Yasiel Puig to ground into a double play, setting off a wild celebration inside Wrigley Field, outside the ballpark and all over the city.

Seeking their first crown since 1908, manager Joe Maddon's team opens the World Series at Cleveland on Tuesday night. The Indians haven't won it all since 1948 - Cleveland and Cubs have the two longest title waits in the majors.

"This city deserves it so much," Rizzo said. "We got four more big ones to go, but we're going to enjoy this. We're going to the World Series. I can't even believe that."

All-everything Javier Baez and pitcher Jon Lester shared the NLCS MVP. Baez hit .318, drove in five runs and made several sharp plays at second base. Lester, a former World Series champion in Boston, was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two starts against the Dodgers.

Deemed World Series favorites since opening day, the Cubs topped the majors with 103 wins to win the NL Central, then beat the Giants and Dodgers in the playoffs.

The Cubs overcame a 2-1 deficit against the Dodgers and won their 17th pennant. They had not earned a World Series trip since winning a doubleheader opener 4-3 at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, 1945, to clinch the pennant on the next-to-last day of the season.

The eternal "wait till next year" is over. No more dwelling on a history of failure - the future is now.

"We're too young. We don't care about it," star slugger Kris Bryant said. "We don't look into it. This is a new team, this is a completely different time of our lives. We're enjoying it and our work's just getting started."

Hendricks pitched two-hit ball for 7 1/3 innings. Chapman took over and closed with hitless relief, then threw both arms in the air as he was mobbed by teammates and coaches.

The crowd joined in, chanting and serenading their team.

"Chicago!" shouted popular backup catcher David Ross.

The Cubs shook off back-to-back shutout losses earlier in this series by pounding the Dodgers for 23 runs to win the final three games.

And they were in no way overwhelmed by the moment on Saturday, putting aside previous frustration.

In 1945, the Billy Goat Curse supposedly began when a tavern owner wasn't allowed to bring his goat to Wrigley. In 2003, the Cubs lost the final three games of the NLCS to Florida, punctuated with a Game 6 defeat when fan Steve Bartman deflected a foul ball.

Even as recently as 2012, the Cubs lost 101 times.

This time, no such ill luck.

Bryant had an RBI single and scored in a two-run first. Dexter Fowler added two hits, drove in a run and scored one.

Contreras led off the fourth with a homer. Rizzo continued his resurgence with a solo drive in the fifth.

That was plenty for Hendricks, the major league ERA leader.

Hendricks left to a standing ovation after Josh Reddick singled with one out in the eighth. The only other hit Hendricks allowed was a single by Andrew Toles on the game's first pitch.

Kershaw, dominant in Game 2 shutout, gave up five runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth. He fell to 4-7 in the postseason.

The Dodgers haven't been to the World Series since winning in 1988.

Pitching on five days' rest, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner threw 30 pitches in the first. Fowler led off with a double, and Bryant's single had the crowd shaking the 102-year-old ballpark.

They had more to cheer when left fielder Andrew Toles dropped Rizzo's fly, putting runners on second and third, and Ben Zobrist made it 2-0 a sacrifice fly.

The Cubs added a run in the second when Addison Russell doubled to deep left and scored on a two-out single by Fowler.


Maddon benched slumping right fielder Jason Heyward in favor of Albert Almora Jr.

"Kershaw's pitching, so I wanted to get one more right-handed bat in the lineup, and also with Albert I don't feel like we're losing anything on defense," Maddon said. "I know Jason's a Gold Glover, but I think Albert, given an opportunity to play often enough would be considered a Gold Glove-caliber outfielder, too."

Heyward was 2 for 28 in the playoffs - 1 for 16 in the NLCS.


Kerry Wood, wearing a Ron Santo jersey, threw out the first pitch and actor Jim Belushi delivered the "Play Ball!" call before the game. Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and actor John Cusack were also in attendance. And Bulls great Scottie Pippen led the seventh-inning stretch.