Cody Ross plays hero as Red Sox top White Sox

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Cody Ross badly wanted a multiyear deal as a free agent over the winter. The Red Sox probably wish they had given one.

Ross’s 16th homer of the season was a three-run shot off White Sox closer Addison Reed in the bottom of the ninth Thursday, giving the Red Sox all of their runs in a 3-1 win.

It was Ross’s third three-run homer in two days. He’s scored 44 runs and driven in 50 despite being limited to 63 games this season. Last year, he had 14 homers, 54 runs scored and 52 RBI in 121 games for the Giants.

As true to his usual norms, most of Ross’s production has come against lefties, as he’s hit them at an outstanding .328/.410/.836 clip with nine homers this season. However, he’s been plenty solid while getting more time against righties that originally expected, with Wednesday’s homer giving him seven in 153 at-bats and raising his average to .248.

Ross has also become a fan favorite at Fenway, with 11 of his homers coming at home. He seems to like Boston as much as it likes him, so one wonders if the Red Sox will try sign him to an extension before the end of the season. He’s making a modest $3 million this year, down from $6.3 million in his final year with the Giants. If he’s willing to do a two-year, $12 million deal, the Red Sox could forget the luxury-tax ramifications and go ahead and lock him up.

Report: Padres interested in Maikel Franco

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals
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The Padres may have some interest in acquiring Phillies third baseman Maikel Franco, according to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. It seems unlikely that the team would deal their starting third baseman with J.P. Crawford (fractured left hand) sidelined through July; to that end, however, they signed infielder Danny Espinosa as minor league depth on Friday and have reportedly been eying the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, among other veteran options.

Franco, 25, entered Sunday batting .255/.297/.425 with nine home runs and a .721 OPS in 229 plate appearances this season. While he has yet to live up to the .280+ average, 1.9+ fWAR he posted during his rookie campaign, he’s been a solid 20+ home run producer over the last few years and shown some stability at the hot corner. He’s also under team control for the next three years and could provide some much-needed insurance behind the Padres’ current third base option, 27-year-old Christian Villanueva.

Rosenthal notes that the Phillies could strike a deal for one of San Diego’s relievers, though no one specific has been connected to the team yet — and the club probably wouldn’t be able to finesse a one-for-one deal given the quality of the Padres’ pitchers. The Phillies’ bullpen has looked downright abysmal over the last month, placing 11th-worst in the league with a collective 5.34 ERA and 0.3 fWAR. Their failure to procure a viable reliever beyond Seranthony Dominguez, Victor Arano and Edubray Ramos lends a certain urgency to any potential deal they make over the next few weeks, though the official trade deadline is still over a month away.