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American League

Red Sox Stun Rays With Huge Two-Out Rally, Off To Best Start In Franchise History



With their 8-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon, the Boston Red Sox improved their record to 8-1, making it the first time in franchise history (since 1901) that they’ve won eight of the first nine games to begin a season.

Needless to say, it was the team’s most dramatic win thus far in 2018.

The Red Sox trailed the Rays 7-2 entering the bottom of the eighth inning. It finally looked like Boston’s seven-game win streak was going to end, as well as Tampa Bay’s seven-game losing streak.

Not so fast.

Leading off the bottom half of the inning facing reliever Matt Andriese, Hanley Ramirez singled. J.D. Martinez and Brock Holt promptly followed by recording back-to-back outs, before a furious two-out rally lifted the Red Sox to an improbable win.

Let’s recap the rally that was, following the first three hitters of the inning:

Mitch Moreland: double to left, Ramirez scores (7-3 TB)
Eduardo Nunez: single to left, Moreland to third (7-3 TB)
Rafael Devers: double to left, Moreland and Nunez score (7-5 TB)
PITCHING CHANGE: Alex Colome replaces Andriese
Christian Vazquez: single to left, Devers scores (7-6 TB)
Mookie Betts: single to left, Vazquez scores (tied, 7-7)
Andrew Benintendi: double to left, Betts scores (8-7 BOS)
Hanley Ramirez: strikeout swinging (8-7 BOS after 8 innings)

Craig Kimbrel came on to seal the deal in the ninth, retiring the side in order for his third save in as many chances this year.

Ramirez was hyped up on Twitter following Boston’s furious game-winning rally:

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts left the game in the seventh inning after injuring his ankle sliding into the Rays dugout while attempting to keep the ball in play; he was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day, though the team is hopeful he can return soon.

It’s quite amazing how the Red Sox and Rays have gone in complete opposite directions since Opening Day, as both teams have reverse records through nine games.

As fans hoped and expected, the Red Sox beat up on the weak Florida teams to begin the year. Boston starts a three-game home set with the New York Yankees tonight, so now the true test begins.

Chris Sale takes the mound for the Red Sox in game one looking for his first win of 2018, opposed by Luis Severino who’s looking for his third win in as many starts.

Can Boston keep up this torrid pace as they begin to face greater competition? Stay tuned!

American League

2018 ALCS: Astros Aiming To Repeat, Red Sox Looking For Revenge




This year’s American League Championship Series won’t be an unfamiliar scenario for baseball fans, because it’s a rematch of last year’s American League Division Series. Defending World Champion Houston will square off with Boston for the second consecutive postseason, this time with one more game and a lot more at stake. Houston wants a second consecutive pennant, Boston wants second blood.

The Astros defeated the Red Sox three games to one in one half of last season’s ALDS. The Red Sox were on the cusp on forcing a decisive Game 5, but questionable managerial decisions from ex-skipper John Farrell ultimately led to the team’s demise. The Astros then defeated the Yankees and then Los Angeles (both in thrilling seven game series) to bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to Texas for the first time ever.

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Postseason homer machine George Springer will look to send his team to another Fall Classic (The Houston Chronicle).

Both teams have different looks this time around in converse ways. Houston traded for superstar RHP Gerrit Cole last offseason while Boston signed slugging free agent OF/DH JD Martinez. What’s interesting is that both moves paid massive dividends. Aside Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton, Cole helped make the Astros’ starting rotation the unquestioned best in the game. Martinez, on the other hand, rejuvenated the Red Sox’ previously dormant offense and made it a force to be reckoned with again, coming within inches of the Triple Crown in the process.

What’s even more interesting is the new dynamic the rematch presents. As previously mentioned, the Sox parted ways with John Farrell last fall after his controversial pitching decisions killed the team’s rally and got them bounced from the ALDS for the second straight year. Who did they hire almost immediately after?  Houston Bench Coach Alex Cora, who resigned from AJ Hinch’s staff after Game 7.  Though there doesn’t appear to be any hard feelings on Houston’s side, it’s safe to bet that it will still serve as motivation.

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Red Sox rookie manager Alex Cora finds himself opposite the team he helped lead win it all last season (The Boston Globe).

Boston’s motivation is quite simple, don’t lose to the same team two years in a row. To do this, the team will have to find a way to topple that lethal trio of Verlander, Keuchel and Cole, but also to shut down Houston’s relentless offense, led in the ALDS by Alex Bregman and George Springer. Though he was injured for a majority of the year, Jose Altuve still goes without saying as well.

Don’t get it wrong, though. The Red Sox are no slouches, featuring two MVP front runners in Martinez and Mookie Betts alongside Andrew Benintendi and Xander Bogaerts. Chris Sale anchors a rotation that fared quite well against the Yankees in the LDS (with the obvious exception of David Price). Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello were all excellent vs. New York’s powerful core, Cora will be hoping they can replicate that success. He has announced that Price will start Game 2 despite yet another disaster in ALDS Game 2, the reasoning behind this decision is anyone’s guess.

Game 1 is Saturday at 8:09 PM ET on TBS from Fenway Park. Each team will lead off with its ace, Verlander vs. Sale. Don’t miss it!

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American League

Orioles Part Ways with Buck Showalter



The Baltimore Orioles will be in search for a new manager as Buck Showalter will not return to his manager post in 2019 following a 9 year run with the organization, according to ESPN.

Showalter, 62, was at the helm for a nightmare 2018 that saw the team trade Mann Machado as they decided to start a massive youth movement, and the O’s went 47-115 to became just the fifth major league team since 1900 to lose 115 games or more in a season.

“Mr. Angelos’ family has been great to me and mine,” Showalter said on Sunday regarding the pending decision of owner Peter Angelos . “So whatever direction they decide to go, I’m at peace with it.”

“It’s about winning the game,” Showalter said at the conclusion of the season. “That’s one of the things I really feel like we need to get back to, the expectations of winning. That’s part of it. You’ve got to have expectations of winning, regardless of if you’re whatever they call it nowadays — building. I don’t believe in rebuild, the word rebuild. The first thing you have to accomplish, and one of the things I tried to do when I got here, is to raise the expectations of winning.”

Per the report, Showalter received official word in a meeting with brothers John and Lou Angelos on Wednesday morning.

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American League

White Sox Outright Dustin Garneau



The Chicago White Sox have outrighted catcher Dustin Garneau to Triple-A Charlotte, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Daryl Van Schouwen.

With the move the White Sox created an open spot on their 40-man roster.

Garneau posted a dreadful .194/.269/.321 over 280 plate appearances at the major league level, a far drop off from his production at the Triple-A level this season, where he posted a .252/.340/.468 line to go along with seven homeruns.


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