Padres bring in Boston's Hoyer as new GM

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35-year-old Jed Hoyer, an assistant GM for the Red Sox, will be named the replacement for Kevin Towers in San Diego, according to the Boston Globe and several other sources.
The former Wesleyan University closer earned the gig on his third try, having previously interviewed for openings in Pittsburgh and D.C. He had been with the Red Sox since 2002, and he was briefly one of the people in charge of personnel decisions when Theo Epstein left the team after the 2005 season.
This may well be a better situation for him than the previous potential gigs, though he’ll have to deal with modest payrolls. The Padres do have an advantage in assembling their roster in that their ballpark is so unique. Sure, it will be difficult to lure top hitters to Petco Park, but the Padres aren’t going to be bidding for them very often anyway. San Diego will remain a terrific destination for starters and relievers looking to revive their careers, so the Padres should be focusing more on offense in the draft.
Some will wonder why the Padres didn’t go for someone with more of a scouting background, given that the acquisition of young talent through the draft and Latin America was far and away former GM Kevin Towers’ biggest weakness. However, new CEO Jeff Moorad made it clear he was looking for more of an analyst than a scout in the GM role. Hoyer dealt mostly with major league player acquisitions in Boston, so he’ll be looking elsewhere for help in the scouting department.
Oddly enough, the Padres and Red Sox may end up trading front office personnel here. The Red Sox are known to have offered Towers a position in the organization, and if he accepts, it seems likely that he’d take on some of Hoyer’s responsibilities.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.