Nolan Jones homers for Guardians to spoil Papi’s return to Fenway

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BOSTON — Nolan Jones hit a three-run homer, fellow rookie Steven Kwan had three hits and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Red Sox 8-3 to dampen Boston’s celebration for newly minted Hall of Famer David Ortiz.

Minutes after the Cooperstown inductee proclaimed himself a good luck charm for his slumping former team, the Red Sox fell behind 5-0 on their way to a sixth loss in seven games. They have lost 14 of their last 18 to fall into last place in the AL East.

Bryan Shaw made his first start after a record 732 relief appearances and Austin Hedges homered for Cleveland, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Kirk McCarty (1-2) earned his first career victory, pitching four scoreless innings and striking out four.

Xander Bogaerts had three hits for Boston. Josh Winckowski (3-5) allowed five runs on six hits and a walk, striking out two in three innings.

The Guardians scored solo runs in the first two innings before Jones hit a three-run homer in the third. Boston scored two in the bottom half to chase Shaw, and had the bases loaded with one out.

But Nick Sandlin got Kevin Plawecki on a shallow popup, and Jones, in right field, threw out Bogaerts trying to tag from third to end the inning.

HONORING BIG PAPI

Ortiz was inducted in Cooperstown on Sunday, and both managers in Tuesday’s game took part in the pregame ceremony honoring the longtime Red Sox slugger. Cleveland’s Terry Francona led the Boston teams that won the 2004 and ’07 World Series; Red Sox skipper Alex Cora was a player on the ’07 championship team.

Ortiz took the field to chants of “Papi!” and told the crowd: “The good luck charm just arrived.”

“This is the first time he’s going to walk into Fenway as a Hall of Famer,” Cora said before the game. “I’m very proud of him. I think we all are.”

STARTING ANEW

Shaw made his first start in a 12-year career. The previous major league record for appearances before a debut start was David Robertson, who pitched 680 games in relief from 2008-21 before starting for the Rays against Miami.

Shaw’s last professional start was in 2010 in Double-A. On Tuesday, he allowed two runs on three hits a hit batter and a walk while striking out two. He left with the Guardians leading 5-1 and runners on first and second with one out in the third.

BUMBLING BOSTON

The Red Sox committed an error for the 10th time in their last eight games.

Yolmer Sanchez was flagged for an errant throw with the bases loaded in the fourth on Josh Naylor‘s grounder up the middle. Sanchez tried to flip it to the shortstop for the force at second but threw it away, allowing a second run to score.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Guardians: OF Oscar Gonzalez (strained rib cage muscles) went 0-for-2 with a pair of popups and a walk in a rehab assignment with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks. … LHP Anthony Gose is still feeling discomfort in his strained triceps and will need another two weeks of rest.

Red Sox: Red Sox starter Josh Winckowski was hit on the rear end on Owen Miller‘s sharp grounder in the third. The ball ricocheted to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who made the throw to first for the out. After a visit from the trainer, Winckowski remained in the game.

UP NEXT:

Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-3) faces Guardians RHP Cal Quantrill (7-5) in the third game of the four-game series.

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.