April 26, 2018
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Middlebrooks rallies Red Sox by Reds in 8th

Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz (34) high fives relief pitcher Koji Uehara (19) after defeating the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park in Boston Wednesday night.
By SportsDirect, Special to the BDN

BOSTON — Will Middlebrooks drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth as the Boston Red Sox completed a two-game interleague sweep of visiting Cincinnati, 4-3 Wednesday night at Fenway Park.

David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski each added two hits and an RBI while Mike Napoli drove in a run and scored for the Red Sox, who moved to .500 (17-17) after losing in their last eight chances to reach the even mark. Craig Breslow (2-0) picked up the win in relief and Koji Uehara struck out the side in the ninth for his eighth save.

Mike Leake allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings but Manny Parra surrendered the tying run and J.J. Hoover (1-4) was charged with a run on two hits and two walks without recording an out. Skip Schumaker hit his first home run and Roger Bernadina drove in a run for Cincinnati.

The Reds recorded two of their four hits off Jake Peavy in the third when Chris Heisey led off with a double and moved up on a sacrifice before Schumaker ripped a first-pitch fastball into the Cincinnati bullpen for a 2-0 lead. Ortiz came up with runners on first and third in the sixth and pulled a single to right before Napoli drove a double into the right-field corner to knot it up.

The Reds fought right back in the next half-inning with two hits and a walk to load the bases and chase Peavy before Bernadina’s groundout pushed across Todd Frazier with the go-ahead run. Pierzynski’s ground-rule double to right plated Napoli with the tying run in the eighth before Middlebrooks sent a single up the middle through a drawn-in infield to score Jonny Gomes.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Red Sox have won four of five and get Thursday off before beginning a road trip in Texas. … Schumaker made his second straight start in place of rookie CF Billy Hamilton (finger). … Cincinnati has lost five straight road games but returns home for six straight starting with Colorado on Friday.

Indians 4, Twins 3

CLEVELAND — Mike Aviles’ single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in the winning run as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-3 Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera led off the bottom of the ninth with a fly ball to left that was misplayed by Eduardo Escobar, who was making his first career start in left field. It went as a double for Cabrera and he was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.

Catcher Yan Gomes grounded out, but second baseman Aviles lined a pitch from right-hander Casey Fien (3-1) to centerfield, driving in Cabrera with the winning run.

Right-hander John Axford pitched the top of the ninth for the Indians and got his first win of the season (1-3).

Trailing 3-1, the Twins scored twice in the seventh inning, knocking right-hander Danny Salazar out of the game. With one out designated hitter Josmil Pinto singled and went to third on a double by Escobar.

Salazar was replaced by right-hander Bryan Shaw, who was greeted by a line drive single by pitch hitter Danny Santana, scoring Pinto and cutting the Cleveland lead to 3-2. Escobar went to third on Santana’s hit and he scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Brian Dozier.

Salazar and Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco pitched to a virtual standoff. Salazar pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Nolasco pitched six innings, giving up three runs on six hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Twins right-hander Ricky Nolasco retired the first eight batters he faced, but with two outs and nobody on base in the third inning the Indians struck for two runs.


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