BOSTON (AP) — Jose Barrero hit a grand slam to lead the Cincinnati Reds to their fourth straight win, beating the Boston Red Sox 9-8 on Tuesday night.
Will Benson had three hits to back up Ben Lively (3-2), who pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six for the Reds, who led off the game with a five-run seventh inning. During the four-game winning streak, Cincinnati had 10 or more hits and scored at least eight runs.
“Everyone is excited. Everyone is ready to play. Everyone is excited to be here and it’s really cool,” Lively said.
The Reds were 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position until Barrero homered off reliever Joely Rodriguez who left Fenway Park before bouncing off one of the light banners over 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 game and have lost six of eight.
“We started to make adjustments a little late and the game got up to speed for us,” said Rafael Devers, who scored his 500th RBI with a single in the seventh inning.
Boston scored all eight of its runs over the last three innings, five in the ninth, but couldn’t 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 strained hamstring, also made a great defensive play with a nice shot from the middle that helped keep Boston off the board in the fifth.
Benson said Berrero was impressive overall, especially coming off the bench in the fourth and delivering with the bases loaded in the seventh.
“That was great. That was also like a video game home run – he hit it off the pole,” Benson said. “He didn’t miss it.”
Tapia hit a two-out double to left-center field and Kiké Hernández tried to turn around from first, but fell short. There was a nice tag from Barrero to Matt McLain and then home to catcher Tyler Stephenson, who easily caught Hernandez.
The Red Sox didn’t score until they scored three in the seventh, when Rafael Devers singled for his 500th career RBI. Tapia and Reese McGuire also drove in a run during the eighth and Devers added a second RBI single in the ninth, as Boston scored five but fell short.
Brayan Bello (2-2) threw 33 pitches in the first inning and left after the fourth with the Red Sox trailing 1-0. Bello allowed one run and five hits, striking out four and walking two.
“Lots of pitches,” manager Alex Cora said. “It was inefficient. He was behind in the count. The slider was not great. They fouled a lot of pitches and put us in a bad situation. 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 entering Tuesday and was hitting .156 when the game ended.
Benson was recalled from Triple-A Louisville last week and said the trip back 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 little wins and use them to get your rhythm back,” Benson said.
Reds: CF TJ Friedl left the game in the fourth with a tight left hamstring. He was replaced in the center by Barrero. … RHP Tejay Antone will take time off from pitching after experiencing pain in his right elbow while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, manager David Bell said. Bell said an MRI revealed “no change” in the elbow, but the Reds will rest the arm for a week before he pitches again. … OF/1B Wil Myers (left shoulder sprain, kidney stone) may have an MRI on his left shoulder due to persistent pain according to Bell.
Red Sox: Placed RHP Corey Kluber on paternity list and retired LHP Ryan Sheriff from Triple-A Worcester.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Cincinnati RHP Luke Weaver (1-2, 5.45 ERA) faces Boston LHP James Paxton (1-1, 5.14) on Wednesday night in the second of a three-game interleague series.
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