BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox fired manager Bobby Valentine on Thursday after one season in which he failed to bring order to a clubhouse that disintegrated during the 2011 pennant race.
Valentine finished with a record of 69-93 on a team that was beset by injuries before management gave up on this season and traded some of its best players — and biggest salaries. Without Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, the Red Sox will save $250 million in future salaries and have a chance to rebuild over the winter.
But that will be too late for Valentine. Continue reading
NEW YORK (AP) — It was almost fitting that the final Red Sox game of a miserable season ended in a rout.
Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson each hit a pair of homers, powering the New York Yankees past Boston 14-2 on a raucous Wednesday night in the Bronx for their 13th AL East title in 17 years.
The loss sent Boston to its worst record (69-93) since the 1965 team lost 100 games and could cost Bobby Valentine his job after just one year as manager.
Very disappointing season,” Valentine said. “Extremely disappointing.”
Valentine brought the lineup card out to the umpires for what might have been the final time. The Boston went out and lost for the eighth straight time, their longest skid since losing nine in a row in 2001. The Red Sox lost 26 of their last 33 games. Continue reading
NEW YORK (AP) — Bobby Valentine never expected his first season — and perhaps only — with Boston to end in last place.
Raul Ibanez tied it with a pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning, then had an RBI single in the 12th, helping the Yankees remain a game up on Baltimore in the AL East with one game to go by beating the Red Sox 4-3 on Tuesday night.
With their season high-tying seventh straight loss, the Red Sox dropped to 69-92, ensuring they will finish in last place for the first time since 1992.
“We didn’t start the season to finish fifth . . . or fourth, or third, or second . . .,” Valentine said.
Valentine signed a two-year deal to manage Boston after its September collapse last season cost Terry Francona his job. But the Red Sox were beset by injuries and underperformance this year. They fell to 16-41 since Aug. 1, and many are calling for Valentine to be fired.
Boston took a 3-1 lead into the ninth Tuesday, but closer Andrew Bailey, who missed much of the season after having surgery, gave up a two-run homer to Ibanez in the ninth to tie it.
Ibanez then had an RBI single off Andrew Miller (3-2) in the 12th to give New York a win to stay atop the division. The Yankees need a win or Orioles loss on the final day of the season to secure their 13th division title since 1996. The Orioles beat Tampa Bay 1-0 earlier.
If the teams end up even after Wednesday’s games, they’ll play a tiebreaker Thursday in Baltimore.
The Yankees kept missing chances on a misty night. They were 0-58 when trailing after eight innings this season before rallying in the ninth.
Curtis Granderson led off with a single off closer Andrew Bailey and Ibanez lined a shot to right field to make it 3-all.
I’ll have a long offseason,” Bailey said. “I’ve let the team down a couple of times.”
Ibanez came up again with two outs in the 12th after Francisco Cervelli walked in his first plate appearance of the year and Granderson drew a walk from Miller.
Ibanez hit a grounder out of the reach of shortstop Jose Iglesias and Cervelli flopped into home plate. The Yankees ran out to first base to mob Ibanez, who had a tying two-run homer against Oakland in the 13th inning on Sept. 22. He was doused with a bucket of water during a postgame interview.
“We stuck together. We stayed after them, and we were able to pull it out,” Ibanez said. “I was trying not to do too much, and it found a hole.”
Derek Lowe (9-11) pitched two innings for the win.
While the Orioles were chasing the Yankees in the standings, Lowe’s outing was delayed briefly in the 12th by another kind of bird. A member of the grounds crew, using a bucket, chased a bird that landed on the infield and was reluctant to fly off.
The Yankees had at least one hit in each of the first six innings before the top three in the batting order went out successively in the seventh against Junichi Tazawa.
They loaded the bases against Bailey in the ninth but Mark Melancon relieved and got Mark Teixeira to pop up to an outfield playing in and Robinson Cano to ground out.
Managing as if this were a playoff game, manager Joe Girardi used much of his well-rested bullpen. He called on Rafael Soriano for the ninth, trailing 2-1, and the closer gave up a leadoff homer to James Loney, rankling many of the 41,564 who stayed through the rain.
He also pitched the 10th, walking one batter. It was the first time this season Soriano pitched more than 1 1-3 innings. He threw 43 pitches, his most since Sept. 25, 2005.
“Hopefully, he feels OK tomorrow if I need him,” Girardi said. “I’ve said it all along and I’ll say it again: trying to win the division.”
Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia were back in Boston’s lineup a day after sitting out of a 10-2 loss and immediately made an impact. Ellsbury, who sat against left-hander CC Sabathia, singled and scored from first on a double to right-center by Pedroia, playing with a broken left ring finger. Cody Ross added a sacrifice fly against David Phelps for a 2-0 lead.
Valentine said that he fell off his bicycle when he read the text from his staff saying that Pedroia was able to play. The second baseman went 2 for 5.
“He had great at-bats all night. He’s an amazing character,” Valentine said.
Eduardo Nunez had an RBI single off Jon Lester after Granderson reached on an infield hit, advanced to second on a throwing error by third baseman Pedro Ciriaco on the play and then stole third base.
NOTES: Boston entered the game 24 games out of first place. The previous time they were that far out was after games of Sept. 22, 1969. … Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-6) faces New York’s Hiroki Kuroda (15-11) in the regular-season finale.
BOSTON (AP) — The season can’t end quickly enough for the Boston Red Sox.
David Price struck out 13 as the Tampa Bay Rays beat Boston 5-2 on Tuesday night to remain in playoff contention and hand the Red Sox yet another loss.
The reeling Red Sox have lost five of their last six games, 19 of 26 and are 34-46 at Fenway Park — their worst home record since going 34-47 in 1965.
“I think this year as a whole is going to leave a sour taste in a lot of guys’ mouths,” said starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, who lost his fourth straight decision. “To know that you don’t want to be at that point again, I think that’s going to drive just about everybody in this clubhouse to be prepared and to do what they have to do to be ready for spring next year and to begin the season.” Continue reading
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Boston Red Sox guaranteed their first losing season in 15 years with a very fitting performance — a rout at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Alfredo Aceves and Daniel Bard all struggled to record outs as the Red Sox were beaten 13-3 on Wednesday night.
“We threw too many pitches. We must have thrown 200-plus pitches,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “(It was) tough to look at. Walks are the killer bee.”
Six Red Sox pitchers threw 173 pitches and walked 10, six in the Rays’ seven-run sixth inning. Desmond Jennings hit a two-run triple, and the Rays snapped a four-game losing streak. Continue reading
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Felix Doubront had been trying for this victory for a while.
Doubront limited Tampa Bay’s sputtering offense to one hit over six innings and the Boston Red Sox rallied for a 7-5 win that dealt another blow to the Rays’ fading playoff hopes on Tuesday night.
Doubront (11-9) earned his first victory since July 18, when he beat the Chicago White Sox. He was 0-5 with a 7.38 ERA in his previous eight starts. Continue reading
The Associated Press
BOSTON — Derek Jeter didn’t let an injury stop him from tying Willie Mays for 10th place on the career hits list or helping the New York Yankees stay tied for the AL East lead.
An aching left ankle limited Jeter to the designated hitter’s role on Thursday night. But his RBI single in the seventh inning provided a cushion for Phil Hughes and helped the Yankees win consecutive games for the first time in a month with a 2-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox.
New York kept pace with the Baltimore Orioles, who completed a three-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3-2, 14-inning win. Continue reading
BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Red Sox were pretty fired up for a team supposedly playing out the final weeks of the season.
Manager Bobby Valentine and Cody Ross were both ejected in the eighth inning — along with third-base coach Jerry Royster — after heated arguments with home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez in Boston’s 5-4 loss to the longtime rival New York Yankees on Wednesday night.
Ross was called out on strikes to end the inning with a runner second. He turned around, raised his bat above his head with both hands and started screaming at Marquez. He was quickly tossed and had to be restrained by Valentine and Royster.
“Cody was really upset,” Valentine said. “I was just doing everything I could to get Cody away from him.”
Valentine was tossed after he went back to the dugout.
“I didn’t argue when I was on the field because I pulled both of my hamstrings trying to keep Cody away from the umpires,” he said.
In a rotten season, the Red Sox may be embracing their role as spoilers. Continue reading
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Zack Greinke stopped worrying about his rocky start with the Los Angeles Angels when he figured it couldn’t get any worse.
Since then, Greinke and the Angels have both been plenty good enough to think this season might still have a happy ending.
Greinke yielded five hits over seven strong innings, Albert Pujols hit an early two-run double and the Angels swept their season series with Boston for the first time with a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night. Continue reading
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Alfredo Aceves kept his cellphone affixed to his ear while he dressed and left the Boston Red Sox clubhouse after blowing his fourth save in his last seven opportunities.
The closer who apparently had plenty to say to manager Bobby Valentine last week stayed silent about his latest flop.
Mike Trout and Torii Hunter drove in runs in the ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 6-5 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night.
The Angels appeared to be headed to their third straight loss until they jumped on Aceves (2-9) in his second inning of work following a three-game suspension for apparently arguing with Valentine, who had few options left in his overworked bullpen. He went with Aceves, who did fine for four outs — and then blew his eighth save. Continue reading