Reddick's 10th inning single wins it for Sox, 3-2

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Reddick's 10th inning single wins it for Sox, 3-2

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs

BOSTON It looked like it was going to be one of those nights for the Red Sox and for Josh Reddick, but instead it turned into one of those nights for both team and player.

A Dustin Pedroia sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning sent things into extra innings, and Reddick busted out of an 0-for-4 evening with a walk-off single in the bottom of the tenth inning that propelled Boston to a 3-2 extra inning victory in 4 hours and 15 minutes of Sunday Night Baseball.

Yankees little guys Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner cracked solo home runs for the Yanks and led them to a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth.

But Mariano Rivera couldnt hold things down for the Yankees at Fenway Park, and that kind of thing is no one-hit wonder.

Gardner appeared to provide the game-winning blast into the Sox bullpen in the top of the seventh inning off Matt Albers, and it was left to the Boston batters to solve Rafael Soriano, Dave Robertson and Rivera over the final three innings.

The victory vaults Boston into sole possession of first place in the division by a single game, and sets up another impending date between the ancient rivals in the Fens at the end of the month.

The pitchers were locked in for the first six innings and each allowed only a single while battling through lineups that sent their pitch counts soaring. Once again Josh Beckett was the picture of pitching brilliance while mixing pitches and holding the Yankees lineup to six hits and a single run in six frames.

Freddy Garcia was every bit as good for the Yankees while surviving with an 88-mph fastball, and dodging jams by pitching around the middle of Bostons lineup. Twice the Sox loaded the bases against the Yankees in the second and sixth innings, but they only managed to plate a single run on an infield single by Marco Scutaro.

Jacoby Ellsbury was greeted by MVP chants when he stepped to the plate in both bases loaded situations, but he ended both rally innings and stranded eight Sox runners on the base paths during the loss. All looked lost until Marco Scutaro capped off a four-hit night with a double in the bottom of the ninth, and set everything into motion in extra innings.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

Market for Encarnacion is shrinking, yet Red Sox still don't seem interested

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- As the annual winter meetings get underway today, the market for arguably the best free-agent hitter may be -- against all logic -- lessening.

Edwin Encarnacion, who has averaged 39 homers a year over the last five seasons, should be a player in demand.

But in quick succession, the Houston Astros and New York Yankees, two teams thought to be in the market for Encarnacion, opted to go with older hitters who required shorter deals -- Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday.

Further, the Toronto Blue Jays' signing of Steve Pearce to a two-year deal Monday, coupled with their earlier acquisition of Kendrys Morales, closes the door on a potential return to Toronto for Encarnacion.

Seemingly, all of that would position the Red Sox, in search of a DH to replace the retired David Ortiz, to swoop in and land Encarnacion for far less than they could have imagined only weeks ago.

And yet, it appears as though things would have to change considerably for the Red Sox to reach agreement with Encarnacion.

While the first baseman-DH is known to be Ortiz's first choice as his replacement, for now, the economics don't work for the Sox -- even as Enacarnacion's leverage drops.

Encarnacion is expecting a deal of at least four years, with an average annual value around $20 million.

The Red Sox, industry sources indicate, are very much mindful of the luxury tax threshold. The Sox have, however modestly, gone over the threshold in each of the last two seasons, and even with a bump due to last week's new CBA, the Sox are dangerously close to the 2018 limit of $195 million.

Should the Sox go over for a third straight year, their tax would similarly ratchet up.

That, and the fact that Encarnacion would cost the Sox their first-round pick next June -- for this offseason, compensation for players given a qualifying offer comes under the old CBA rules -- represents two huge disincentives.

It's far more likely that the Sox will seek a cheaper option at DH from among a group that includes Pedro Alvarez and Mike Napoli. Neither is in Encarnacion's class, but then again, neither would cost a draft pick in return, or the long-term investment that Encarnacion is said to be seeking.

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason witnessed Pete Rose hire people to sign autographs

Boomer Esiason tells Toucher & Rich a story from his early days in Cincinnati when he witnessed Pete Rose overseeing five guys he paid to sign a stack of photographs for fans.