CINCINNATI (AP)J.D. Martinez and Rob Refsnyder hit solo homers, and Rafael Devers had a two-run shot as the Boston Red Sox beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on Tuesday night.
Red Sox rookie right-hander Brayan Bello (2-6) ended a streak of 44 1/3 innings without allowing a homer as TJ Friedl had a solo shot in the third inning. Bello gave up the run and eight hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked two.
”They put pressure on him, but he made some pitches, some swings and misses,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. ”He’s still learning but he’s getting better. We want him to use certain pitches, be aggressive with it and trust his stuff.”
Reds rookie left-hander Nick Lodolo (4-7), who had 22 strikeouts and no walks over his previous two starts, struggled with his control against Boston. He walked three and hit three batters over his five innings, giving the Reds a major league-record 99 hit batters this season – eclipsing the Chicago Cubs’ total of 98 last year.
Lodolo became the first Reds pitcher to hit three or more batters in a game twice in a season since Harry Thielman in 1902. He also hit three batters at St. Louis on July 16. Lodolo has hit at least one batter in nine of his last 10 starts and has totaled 18 this season.
”The curve didn’t have the right shape tonight,” Lodolo said. ”If that pitch would have been a little bit better we could have got away with more stuff.”
Bello needed only nine pitches to retire the Reds in order in the first with two strikeouts. He retired three straight to leave the bases loaded in the second.
”Bello had a really good tight slider,” Reds manager David Bell said. ”That was the key to the game. We were able to get the bases loaded and not being able to score that inning, it affected us the rest of the game.”
Martinez’s triple off the center-field wall in the third drove him the game’s first run. Friedl hustled over from left field to retrieve the ball and prevent an inside-the-park home run. Martinez said he was disappointed that third base coach Carlos Febles put up the stop sign.
”I said, `What are you doing, dude? You know I have the closing speed at the end,”’ Martinez said. ”I was thinking, this is my chance, this is it. But I was gassed.”
After Friedl tied the score in the bottom half, Refsnyder put Boston back ahead in the fourth with a solo homer, his fifth of the season. Martinez extended the lead with his 12th homer an inning later and Devers’ 27th homer off Hunter Strickland made the score 5-1 in the ninth.
Cincinnati loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth against Matt Strahm, who walked in a run. He was replaced by John Schreiber who allowed a sacrifice fly but got the final out for his eighth save.
Reds CF Nick Senzel left the game after crashing into the wall attempting to catch Martinez’s triple in the third. Senzel told reporters after the game that he broke his toe and is out for the season. Bell said moments earlier that he was still waiting on results of another X-ray. ”His toe hit the bottom of the wall, the unpadded part,” Bell said. ”We took x-rays but will take one again tomorrow.”
Red Sox: RHP Garrett Whitlock (right hip inflammation) is having season-ending arthroscopic hip surgery next week in New York. … RHP Kutter Crawford (right shoulder impingement) will not pitch again this season for Boston but will continue to rehab.
Reds: RHP Graham Ashcraft (right biceps soreness) is expected to come off the injured list to start Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers. Ashcraft currently is rehabbing at Triple-A Louisville.
RHP Connor Seabold (0-2, 11.91) is expected to make his fourth start of the season for the Red Sox in the finale of the two-game series. Reds RHP Chase Anderson (1-3, 6.43) will make his fifth start of the season.
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