CINCINNATI — Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the eighth inning, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night in the opener of a two-game series at Great American Ball Park.
With two outs and the tying run at second in the eighth, right-hander Jonathan Broxton threw a high and tight fastball to Cespedes for ball one. Broxton’s next pitch to the left fielder was launched 433 feet out to center to put the Red Sox ahead.
Tommy Layne (1-0) earned the victory for Boston.
Koji Uehara earned his 26th save for the Red Sox (53-65), who defeated the Reds for the eighth time in nine regular-season meetings.
Catcher Devin Mesoraco went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for Cincinnati.
Boston’s comeback negated a fine outing by Reds starter Mat Latos, who allowed just one earned run on five hits through seven innings. Latos gave up just two hits through the first six innings, finishing with three walks and four strikeouts.
Typically it’s lights out when Cincinnati (60-59) gets to the eighth inning with a lead.
Broxton (0-1) entered the game ranked second in the National League with a 1.07 ERA and had not allowed a run in 39 of 45 appearances. But Cespedes altered that trend.
Joe Kelly, making his second start for Boston since being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in a deadline deal, pitched well on Tuesday night but couldn’t overcome a rough first inning. He allowed two earned runs and five hits in six innings. He walked three and fanned four over 103 pitches.
Latos had retired nine in a row when right fielder Daniel Nava led off the seventh with a double. He scored Boston’s first run on shortstop Xander Bogaerts’ RBI hit, which snapped an 0-for-15 skid.
Kelly began the game with a four-pitch walk to Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton, who stole his 44th base, then reached third when catcher Christian Vazquez’s throw sailed into center field. Hamilton scored on third baseman Todd Frazier’s single to put Cincinnati ahead 1-0.
Kelly allowed two runs, walked two, and threw 32 pitches in the first inning, but a double play helped him avoid further damage.
Boston had runners in scoring position with less than two outs in the first and third innings, but Latos worked out of those jams.
NOTES: The Red Sox will skip RHP Brandon Workman’s scheduled start Wednesday and recall RHP Anthony Ranaudo from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his place. Workman started Thursday, then pitched in relief during Saturday’s 19-inning loss to the Angels. “We’re giving him a little bit of a breather,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. To make room on the roster for Ranaudo, LHP Edwin Escobar was optioned to Triple-A. … Reds RHP Homer Bailey, who is dealing with elbow soreness, will skip Wednesday’s start. “We’re optimistic that by Saturday (at Colorado) he’ll be good to go,” manager Bryan Price said. RHP Mike Leake will start Wednesday. … Reds 1B/C Brayan Pena returned to the starting lineup Tuesday after missing two starts with a tight left hamstring. … The Red Sox swept Cincinnati in a two-game series at Fenway Park in May.