Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 2:23 am Post subject: If Danny Duffy doesnt make the rotation
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox waited four years to get back to baseballs post-season. Atlanta Braves Jerseys . They were more than happy to put off their playoff celebration one more day. One game after securing their first playoff appearance since 2009, the Red Sox clinched the AL East title on Friday night, getting seven strong innings from Jon Lester to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3. The victory gave Boston 94 wins, 11 more than the Tampa Bay Rays with only 10 games remaining. "Were going back to the playoffs," said designated hitter David Ortiz, who joined his teammates in revelry on the mound already wearing a ski mask to protect his eyes from the postgame spray of champagne and beer. "People have got to believe weve got a good team. Were going to take this all the way there." The Red Sox did little to celebrate after assuring themselves of no worse than a wild-card spot on Thursday. Instead, the team brought out the cigars on Friday after earning their first division title since 2007 -- a victory that allows them to skip the one-game wild-card playoff and instead rest for four days after the regular season ends. "Winning the American League East is something everybody in here should be proud of," said manager John Farrell, who was brought in to replace Bobby Valentine after last years team won 69 games. "When we got in the playoffs last night -- to see there was no response, there was no celebration. That to me spoke as much volume as anything weve done in the year. Its a focused group. Its their time tonight to go and enjoy it." Lester (15- earned his 100th career victory, allowing one run on five hits and two walks while striking out eight to win for the seventh time in nine decisions. Toronto pinch-hitter Adam Lind hit a two-run homer off Junichi Tazawa in the eighth to make it 5-3 before Koji Uehara got five outs for his 20th save. With the crowd standing for most of the final inning, Uehara struck out Brett Lawrie to end the game and the Red Sox poured out of the dugout and bullpen. On their way to the mound they were given the traditional commemorative caps, along with T-shirts that said, "We Own The East." It was a stunning turnaround that came just one year after the Red Sox completed a 13-month collapse that started in September of 2011, when they blew a nine-game lead in the wild card and missed the playoffs with a loss on the final day of the season. "They believed it from the first day of spring training," owner John Henry said. "But they went out and did it." Dustin Pedroia had three hits for the Red Sox, who have won 19 of their last 25. Toronto starter Esmil Rogers (5- did not make it out of the third inning, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks and striking out two while getting only seven outs. With the fourth-place New York Yankees winning their 81st game earlier Friday, the Blue Jays will be the only team in the AL East with a losing record. "Theyve got a great team over there. They really do," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "They ran away with a good division. Its not even close right now." The Red Sox took the lead early when Pedroia doubled to lead off the first inning, went to third on a fly ball and scored on a wild pitch. Boston had runners on first and second with nobody out but Mike Carp lined out to the shortstop and Ortiz was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score from second on Jarrod Saltalamacchias single. Daniel Nava doubled to lead off the third inning and, after intentionally walking Ortiz, Rogers walked two more to make it 2-0. Chad Jenkins came in and got Saltalamacchia to hit into an inning-ending double play. Toronto loaded the bases with nobody out in the fourth on a walk, an error by third baseman Will Middlebrooks and a single. But Middlebrooks fielded Anthony Goses chopper, stepped on third and threw home to get Kevin Pillar in a rundown for a double play. Lester struck out J.P. Arencibia to end the inning. Rajai Davis singled, stole second and third and scored on Lawries single to make it 2-1 in the fifth. But Neil Wagner gave up four straight singles to start the seventh, including an RBI single by Ortiz to make it 3-1. Jeremy Jeffress came in and got Mike Napoli to ground into a shortstop-to-home-to-first double play. But Carp hit a line drive to left-centre that made it 5-1. After Lind made it 5-3, Pedroia added an RBI single in the eighth. NOTES: Lester is the 11th pitcher in Red Sox history to record 100 victories, and just the third left-hander. ... Toronto CF Colby Rasmus was beaned by a warmup throw before the bottom of the first inning. He was replaced in the lineup by Pillar. Gibbons said he would get a CT scan. ... Farrell is the seventh manager to lead the Red Sox to the playoffs in his first year on the job. The last was Terry Francona in 2004. ... The Red Sox announced before the game that tickets for AL divisional playoffs to be played in Boston will go on sale Tuesday. Phil Niekro Jersey . -- Phil Mickelson will be watching the final two rounds of the Masters from home for the first time in 17 years. Dansby Swanson Jersey . Millsap will miss Wednesday nights game against the Chicago Bulls. The Hawks say Millsap also will be held out on Thursday at Boston. http://www.thebravesteamshop.com/Braves-John-Smoltz-Kids-Jersey/ . De La Rosa pitched six strong innings to win his sixth consecutive decision, Todd Helton homered and the Colorado Rockies snapped the Los Angeles Dodgers six-game winning streak with a 7-5 victory on Wednesday night.KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The competition for a spot in the Royals rotation just got a little tougher. Kansas City announced the signing of veteran pitcher Bruce Chen to a $4.25 million, one-year deal on Saturday that includes a mutual option for the 2015 season, and manager Ned Yost said he expects to keep the left-hander as a starter rather than a reliever. That would leave just one job available for a whole bunch of candidates. "I dont know how its all going to play out," Yost said at Royals FanFest. "Im real open-minded, but you try to go into it and you think about all scenarios and all cases." The Royals are solid at the front of the rotation with James Shields, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie, and Chen was dominant the latter part of last season after beginning in the bullpen. That means young flame-throwers Yordano Ventura and Kyle Zimmer, talented but injury prone left-hander Danny Duffy, starters-turned-relievers Luke Hochevar and Wade Davis, and even veteran Brad Penny could be competing for a single rotation spot in spring training. Royals pitchers and catchers report to Surprise, Ariz., on Feb. 14. "If Danny Duffy doesnt make the rotation to begin with, what more does that do to the bullpen?" Yost said, offering one example of how things migght play out. Preston Tucker Jersey. "That gives us another left-handed arm that we can get through the All-Star break and bam, like Bruce last year, here comes a fresh, healthy Danny Duffy if someone is slacking a little bit. "Well see how it plays out," Yost said. "I want to give everyone a fair chance at it." The 36-year-old Chen became a free agent after last season, when he went 9-4 with a 3.27 ERA in 15 starts and 19 appearances out of the bullpen. He attracted some interest from a handful of clubs, but he always said hed like to return for a sixth season in Kansas City. The sides reached an agreement Thursday but had to wait to announce it until Chen passed a physical. Hell make $3.25 million this season and $5.5 million with a $1 million buyout next season. He can also earn a performance bonus of $125,000 for each start from 16 through 25. "You cant evaluate Bruce in spring training," Yost said, "because hes not one of those guys that can compete, because hes not a spring training pitcher. But once the bell rings, hes been phenomenal for us. You know what youre going to get with Bruce. "So unless something just dramatically happens between now and then, Bruce will probably be slotted into one of those five spots. In all reality, yeah. But well just see what happens." 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