In what appeared to be heading towards another frustrating loss, the Red Sox offense showed up just enough to support strong pitching as the Sox took Game 1 of their two-game set in Cincinnati 3-2.
Yoenis Cespedes uncorked a bomb after being brushed back by Jonathan Broxton in the eighth, launching a two-run homer to center field that only travelled 433 feet because it ran out of real estate, giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead.
Joe Kelly’s second start for the Red Sox was another impressive one, as he went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Reds starter Mat Latos pitched seven frames and gave up one run on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts.
Neither were involved in the decision, as the win went to Tommy Layne and the loss to Jonathan Broxton. Koji Uehara came in for the ninth and picked up his 26th save of the season.
The Sox cut the Reds’ lead in half in the top of the seventh, as Xander Bogaerts drove in Daniel Nava from second on an RBI single to left field
An errant throw by Christian Vazquez trying to nab Billy Hamilton in the first allowed the Reds’ leadoff man to reach third without a problem. Todd Fraizer knocked him in two batters later, while Devin Mesoraco singled to score Jay Bruce as the Reds jumped out 2-0 before the Sox could record an out.
MVP: Joe Kelly
It looked like it was going to be a short night for the Sox starter after a rough first inning where he gave up two,, but he was dialed in for the rest of his outing, pitching five innings of shutout ball on three hits and one walk from the second-fifth innings.
GOAT: Jonathan Broxton
After brushing back Yoenis Cespedes with the first pitch he threw to him in the eighth, Cespedes made the Reds’ reliever pay by unloading a bomb to deep center that ended up being the difference in a one-run Red Sox win.
ICYMI: After being buzzed in on the hands by Jonathan Broxton, Yoenis Cespedes blasted a two-run homer to center field that turned a 2-1 deficit in the eighth into a 3-2 Red Sox lead.
TWEET OF THE GAME:
Looked like Joe Kelly was throwing up before the game. Said he was feeling awful, still did afterward. Threw six strong, though.
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) August 13, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: The Red Sox improved to 41-0 this season when leading after eight innings; they are the only MLB team to hold an undefeated record…The Sox won consecutive games for the first time since July 20-21…After taking third base in the top of the third inning, Joe Kelly became the first Red Sox pitcher to steal a base since Bill Landis in September 1969…Edward Mujica’s two-out walk to Todd Frazier in the bottom of the eighth was the first walk issued by the Sox reliever since June 21…Yoenis Cespedes upped his average to .263 in nine games with the Red Sox; he’s reached base in every game since being traded from Oakland…In two starts for the Red Sox since being acquired from the Cardinals, Joe Kelly has gone 13 total innings and allowed three runs on eight hits with seven walks and six strikeouts.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Sox improved to 53-65 with the win, winning back-to-back games for the first time in August. At the conclusion of their game with the Reds, the Sox sat 15 games behind the Orioles for first place in the AL East and five games behind the Rays to get out of the division cellar. The Sox remain 10.5 games out of the second Wild Card sport in the American League, currently occupied by the Detroit Tigers.
LOOKING AHEAD: Anthony Ranaudo will make his second big league start on Wednesday, getting the ball for the Sox matinee against the Reds. Ranaudo won his major league debut on Aug. 1 against the Yankees, giving up two runs on four hits with four walks and two strikeouts in six innings.
Mike Leake gets the ball for the Reds, looking to get his record to .500, as he currently sits at 9-10 with a 3.42 ERA. In his last start, Leake went seven innings against Miami on Aug. 8, allowing two earned runs on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.