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Wednesday, 13 August 2014 19:50

Boston Red Sox: Napoli, Sox Sweep Reds With 5-4 Victory

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In a back-and-forth affair, the Boston Red Sox (54-65) beat the Cincinnati Reds (60-60) in another one-run game, 5-4, behind Anthony Ranaudo's pitching and Mike Napoli's stick. 

The Red Sox just won a road trip! For the first time this year!

With the two-game sweep of the Reds, Boston went 5-3 on this eight-game road trip against the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and the Reds. 

After losing two out of three to the Cards, Boston has come back to win two of three from the Angels and then took both from the Reds. They currently have a 3-game win streak and have won four of five games. 

Anthony Ranaudo was called up to make the start Wednesday for Brandon Workman who is getting some rest. Ranaudo got the victory and is now 2-0 in first two career starts. 

Sorry Jake.

Red Sox Jump On Top Early  

A day after getting down 2-0 in the first inning, but coming back to win, Boston flipped the script and took a 2-0 lead of their own in the first against Reds starter Mike Leake today. 

In a game where Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Christian Vazquez all didn't start, the offense didn't falter with Brock Holt leading off with a walk. He quickly went to second on a wild pitch. 

Just the second batter of the game, Daniel Nava drove Holt in with an RBI single and took second on the throw. The Sox led before even recording an out. Yoenis Cespedes grounded out and advanced Nava to third. 

Mike Napoli was next, and he grounded it to third, where the shortstop and third baseman almost collided. The third baseman threw home to try to retire Nava at home, but Nava beat it out, and Napoli was safe at first. The Sox took a nice 2-0 lead before Ranaudo even threw a pitch. 

Reds Come Back To Take The Lead In 4th

After giving up three singles in the first two innings but no runs, Ranaudo gave in with a run in the third. After getting the speedster Billy Hamilton to fly out, he walked Kris Negron and Todd Frazier roped a ball out to deep left center that, luckily for Boston, bounced into the crowd for a ground rule double, saving a run. Young catching star Devin Mesoraco hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to get Cincy on the board, down 2-1. 

In the fourth inning, Ranaudo started giving up the long ball. 

With one out, Skip Schumacher got a fastball middle-up and he knew what to do with it, depositing it into the right field seats. It was only his 2nd homer of the year, and it tied the game at two. 

Two batters later, the pitcher Leake came up to face Ranaudo. He got a fastball right down Broadway and he also cranked it over the wall for his 2nd homer of the year. It was his 4th home run of his career, very impressive for a pitcher, and Ranaudo was having trouble with his location. 

Luckily For Ranaudo, His Offense Picked Him Up

We haven't heard that statement much this year. Offense?!

In the top of the fifth, Holt hit a double to left with one out and was still standing at second with two outs and Cespedes coming to the plate. 

Cespedes hit an RBI single to left to drive in Holt and tie the game. This was his 8th RBI with Boston in 10 games and it was the third straight game that he has tied or given the Sox the lead. 

The next batter, Napoli, wasn't happy with a tie game. He wanted more. So he went up there and blasted a 2-run homer to the opposite field for his 15th dinger of the year and his 42nd and 43rd RBI of the season. 

Ranaudo Gives Up One More Run, But Keeps Lead

The Reds were back at it in the bottom of the fifth, scoring on a Frazier sac fly after Negron hit a triple. He got two more outs and kept the lead. 

John Farrell sent him back out the for the 6th, despite his subpar stuff on this day and he got out of the inning only giving up a hit. Pretty solid outing overall. Ranaudo did a nice job of limiting damage. 

Ranaudo's Line: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Cespedes Leaves Game In 7th 

With Cespedes bringing some great batting life to Boston, and the Sox starting to pick up wins, an injury to Yoenis would not be welcome. 

He left the game in the 7th due to a right hand contusion. Luckily for Boston, it should be no problem and was only precautionary. 

The Bullpens Shut It Down

After the fifth, nobody scored any more runs. In fact, the Red Sox didn't even get another hit after Leake left the game following the fifth inning, after giving up eight hits and five runs. 

Burke Badenhop, Junichi Tazawa and Edward Mujica combined for three innings of scoreless relief, keeping the one run lead. Mujica gave up two hits to start the ninth, as he was filling in for a resting Koji Uehara, but he managed to get out of it without giving up a run due to a bunt foul out, fly out, and groundout to complete the contest. 

If the Reds starting pitching was as good as their bullpen, they'd be all set. Their pen pitched four innings with no hits and got eight strikeouts. 

Boston finished the season 4-0 against Cincinnati, in two two-game series. They won all four games by one run. They beat the Reds 4-3 twice on May 6 and 7, and 3-2 and 5-4 in these two games. 

They are now over .500 at 24-23 in one run games, much improved from earlier in the season. 


Jackie Bradley Jr. ended his 0-fer with a base hit in his first at bat, breaking an 0-for-35 skid.  Kelly Johnson picked up his first hit with Boston, now 1-for-7.  Ranaudo hit for the first time since high school, going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Hey, he tried! This is the first game Boston has scored 5 or more runs since August 3rd against the Yankees.  The Red Sox will come back home and open a four-game set with the Houston Astros on Thursday before playing the Angels again at home Monday-Thursday.  For the first game against Houston, the pitching matchup is Allen Webster (2-1, 4.91) vs. Scott Feldman (6-8, 4.14). 
Jess Thomas

Jess Thomas is the Red Sox Beat Team Manager and a member of the Boston Celtics beat team for CLNS Radio. Jess is a co-host on CLNS Radio's Red Sox Beat Podcast as well as a contributor to Celtics Postgame Shows.

Jess also currently writes for the Stow/Bolton Independents and The Item. 

Jess currently is an archiver/digitizer at the official home of Boston Celtics telecasts, Comcast Sports Net New England.

Previously, Jess was General Manager for Framingham State University's radio station, WJDM 91.3 FM, as well as sports editor for FSU's newspaper, the Gatepost.

Prior to joining CLNS Radio, Jess was an intern at CSNNE as well as WCVB.

Jess is a 2014 graduate of Framingham State University, with a degree in Communication Arts.

You can follow Jess on Twitter @CLNS_JessSayin