ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — Rookie Mookie Betts belted his first career grand slam and Yoenis Cespedes drove in a pair of runs and scored twice as the Boston Red Sox doubled up Tampa Bay 8-4 Friday night in the opener of a four-game series.
Daniel Nava added an RBI single among his three hits as the Red Sox posted their third win in four contests following an eight-game skid. Anthony Ranaudo (3-0), who was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day, benefited from the offensive outburst and picked up the victory after allowing three runs on five hits in six innings.
Chris Archer (8-7) was blitzed for eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits in four innings for the Rays, who committed three errors in the first two frames en route to suffering their ninth loss in 13 outings. Brandon Guyer smashed a two-run homer and joined Kevin Kiermaier by registering an RBI single.
Cespedes blooped an RBI single to shallow right field to highlight a three-run first inning before his run-scoring double in the second gave Boston a 4-0 lead. Betts doubled the advantage in short order by depositing a 1-0 slider from Archer into the seats in left field for his third homer — and second in four games.
Tampa Bay attempted to chip away as Kiemaier’s RBI single in the second and Guyer’s line-drive homer in the fifth trimmed the deficit to 8-3. Ranaudo regained his composure and two relievers bridged the gap to Edward Mujica, who allowed Guyer’s RBI single before recording the final three outs.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Boston slugger David Ortiz had a two-out single in the third to reach base for the 14th consecutive contest. … Archer fell to 1-4 in seven career starts versus Boston. … Red Sox rookie shortstop Xander Bogaerts joined the team in Tampa Bay and expects to be play in Saturday’s contest after being sidelined with a concussion.
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 3
TORONTO — Jacoby Ellsbury capped a five-run seventh inning with a two-run homer and also tripled as the New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 on Friday night.
Left-hander Chris Capuano (2-3) picked up his first win in seven starts since joining the Yankees from the Colorado Rockies on July 24. He allowed eight hits and three runs in 6 1/3 innings. Third baseman Chase Headley also homered for the Yankees.
Right fielder Jose Bautista homered for the third consecutive game for the Blue Jays.
Mark Buehrle (11-9) allowed seven hits and four runs in six-plus innings and has one win since June 1. The Blue Jays left-hander was trying to beat the Yankees for the first time since April 10, 2004, and is 1-13 against them in 20 career starts.
Pirates 2, Reds 1
PITTSBURGH — Josh Harrison tripled in the tying run and scored the winning run on Jose Tabata’s single in the eighth inning as Pittsburgh rallied for the victory at PNC Park. Harrison had three hits and finished a home run shy of the cycle in helping the Pirates to their sixth win in their last eight games.
Tony Watson earned the victory despite giving up a go-ahead single to the only batter he faced, Devin Mesoraco in the top of the eighth inning. Mesaroco’s single snapped a scoreless tie, but the inning ended when second baseman Brandon Phillips was thrown out at home plate.
Pirates starter Edinson Volquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Mesoraco broke it up with a leadoff single.
Mets 4, Phillies 1
NEW YORK — Right-hander Jacob deGrom tossed seven strong innings to earn the win after New York scored three unearned runs in bizarre fashion in the bottom of the seventh inning at Citi Field.
The Mets broke a 1-1 tie without a hit in the seventh. Left fielder Matt den Dekker drew a one-out walk off left-hander Jake Diekman and stole second. With two outs, shortstop Wilmer Flores was hit by a pitch.
Eric Campbell, pinch-hitting for deGrom, drew a full count walk to load the bases. Center fielder Juan Lagares followed with a seemingly routine fly to left, but Grady Sizemore dropped the ball as he pulled the glove down and den Dekker and Flores raced home. Three pitches later, Lagares took off for second and Campbell bolted for home when catcher Carlos Ruiz threw to second. Campbell beat the throw home for his second career stolen base and the Mets’ first steal of home since Jason Pridie did it on May 15, 2011.
Orioles 9, Twins 1
BALTIMORE — Chris Davis hit his second grand slam of the season and Delmon Young added a two-run homer as Baltimore routed Minnesota at Camden Yards.
Davis has been struggling at the plate all season. He’s now batting just .189 but still hits home runs. This one, a grand slam to right, proved to be the big hit in a five-run fourth inning which put the Orioles up 5-0 over the Twins and broke the game open.
The Orioles now have won four of their last five games while the Twins have dropped five of six.