BOSTON (AP) — Jose Barrero hit a grand slam to lift the Cincinnati Reds to a fourth straight win with a 9-8 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
Will Benson had three hits to back Ben Lively (3-2), who pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings. He struck out six for the Reds, who blew it open with a five-run seventh inning. During the four-game winning streak, Cincinnati has had 10 or more hits and scored at least eight runs.
“Everyone’s all excited. Everyone’s ready to play. Everyone’s excited to be here and it’s really cool,” Lively said.
The Reds were 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position until Barrero hit a homer off reliever Joely Rodríguez that was headed out of Fenway Park before bouncing off one of the light standards above the Green Monster in left.
Raimel Tapia had three of Boston’s 14 hits and drove in a pair of runs. The Red Sox lost their second straight and have dropped six of eight.
“We started to make adjustments a little too late and the game got fast on us,” said Rafael Devers, who picked up his 500th RBI with a single in the seventh inning.
Boston scored all eight of its runs in the final three innings, getting five in the ninth but couldn’t quite catch the Reds, who clinched the win when reliever Alexis Diaz struck out Triston Casas for the final out and his 13th save.
Barrero, who entered the game in the fourth after TJ Friedl left with a tight hamstring, also made a big defensive play with a nice throw from center that helped keep Boston off the board in the fifth.
Benson said Berrero was impressive all around, especially coming off the bench in the fourth and delivering with the bases loaded in the seventh.
“That was dope. That was like a video game home run, too — he hit it off the pole,” Benson said. “He didn’t miss it.”
Tapia hit a two-out double to left-center and Kiké Hernández attempted to come all the way around from first, but came up a few feet short. There was a nice relay from Barrero to Matt McLain then home to catcher Tyler Stephenson, who easily got the tag down on Hernández.
The Red Sox didn’t score until putting up three in the seventh, when Rafael Devers delivered a single for his 500th career RBI. Tapia and Reese McGuire also drove in one run during the eighth and Devers added a second RBI single in the ninth, when Boston scored five but came up a run short.
Brayan Bello (2-2) threw 33 pitches in the first inning and left after the fourth with the Red Sox down 1-0. Bello allowed one run on five hits, struck out four and walked two.
“A lot of pitches,” manager Alex Cora said. “He was inefficient. He was behind in the count. The slider wasn’t great. They fouled off a lot of pitches and put us in a bad spot. They did a good job offensively.”
Benson hadn’t scored a run for the Reds this season until Wednesday, when he crossed the plate three times and hit his first career triple. He also had his first three-hit game after entering Tuesday with just two hits so far this season.
Benson had a .074 batting average coming into Tuesday and was hitting .156 by the time the game ended.
Benson was recalled from Triple-A Louisville last week and said the trip back down to the minors helped him focus on what he needed to do to get back to the majors.
“You just play. You really just take the small wins and use those to get your groove and get your rhythm back,” Benson said.
Reds: CF TJ Friedl left the game in the fourth with tightness in his left hamstring. He was replaced in center by Barrero. … RHP Tejay Antone will take some time off from throwing after experiencing pain in his right elbow as he rehabilitates from Tommy John surgery, manager David Bell said. Bell said an MRI revealed “no change” to the elbow, but the Reds will let the arm rest for a week before he throws again. … OF/1B Wil Myers (left-shoulder sprain, kidney stone) may have an MRI on his left shoulder because of some lingering soreness according to Bell.
Red Sox: Placed RHP Corey Kluber on the paternity list and recalled LHP Ryan Sheriff from Triple-A Worcester.
Cincinnati RHP Luke Weaver (1-2, 5.45 ERA) faces Boston LHP James Paxton (1-1, 5.14) Wednesday night in the second of the three-game interleague series.
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