Napoli bomb lifts Sox
CINCINNATI -- Mike Leake’s home run was wasted in another one-run loss.
Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs to help the Boston Red Sox wrap up their first winning road trip of more than three games this season with a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.
The lost all four games by one run to Boston this season and are 17-27 in one-run games.
Skip Schumaker and Cincinnati’s starting pitcher each hit their second home runs of the season, but the Reds still ended their seven-game home stand with a 3-4 record after opening by sweeping a two-game interleague series against in-state rival Cleveland.
"One-run losses are hard to take, certainly," manager Bryan Price said. "You always have regrets. It has been a difference maker. We have to play better baseball to be honest. We’re playing hard but falling short. We have to find a way to win some of these." Right-hander Anthony Ranaudo became the first Boston rookie to start his career 2-0 since Justin Masterson won his first three in 2008 and the Red Sox finished their eight-game trip with five wins.
Burke Badenhop and Junichi Tazawa each pitched one perfect inning before Edward Mujica overcame back-to-back leadoff singles in the ninth for his third save.
Schumaker and Leake each hit solo home runs in the bottom of the fourth to give the Reds a 3-2 lead. The Red Sox immediately responded with two outs in the fifth on Yoenis Cespedes’ RBI single and Napoli’s 361-foot, opposite-field homer to right, his 15th homer of the season and second of the trip.
"Anytime you get a lead and give it up, it’s not ideal," Leake said.
They Reds are 60-60 on the year and need to make a push but Schumaker insists this is not time to panic.
"As bad as we’ve played, we’re right in the thick of this," Schumaker said. "I was on a team that was 11-games out in September. We’re not there yet."
Ranaudo allowed eight hits and four runs with one walk and one strikeout in six innings. Leake (9-11) lasted five innings, his shortest outing in 11 starts since going five innings on June 15 at Milwaukee. He allowed eight hits and five runs with one walk and three strikeouts.
Red Sox: RHP Allen Webster makes his first career start against Houston on Thursday as Boston opens its second 11-game home stand of the season.
Reds: RHP Alfredo Simon takes a 0.00 ERA in 3 2-3 innings over three games at Coors Field into his first career start on Thursday in Colorado, where the Reds open a seven-game road trip.
Red Sox: Cespedes left the game after six innings with a right hand contusion.
Reds: RF Jay Bruce was scratched from the Reds’ original starting lineup due to illness. ... RHP Logan Ondrusek and 2B Brandon Phillips are scheduled to begin rehabilitation assignments with Triple-A Louisville on Friday.
Mike Leake’s home run off Anthony Ranaudo was the fourth of his career and raised his career hit total to 65. Leake has more hits than any Major League pitcher since his debut in 2010.
Reds’ RHP J.J. Hoover pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts on his 27th birthday.
Aroldis Chapman has made a record 49 straight appearances with at least one strikeout. He struck out the side in the ninth for the 10th time.
Boston CF Jackie Bradley Jr. snapped a 0-for-35 slump with a second-inning single.
Boston is 24-23 in one-run games. The Red Sox were tied with Miami for the most one-run decisions in the majors going into Wednesday’s games. The Reds slipped to 17-28 after going 27-22 last season.
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Indians 3, Diamondbacks 2
CLEVELAND -- Zach Walters’ one-out homer in the ninth inning gave the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Walters, acquired at the trade deadline from Washington for Asdrubal Cabrera, hit a 1-2 pitch from Randall Delgado (1-3) that narrowly cleared the wall in right field.
Walters was called up from Triple-A Columbus on Sunday when outfielder David Murphy and designated hitter Nick Swisher went on the disabled list with injuries. The home run was the fourth of his career.
Cody Allen (4-2) worked around a two-out walk in the ninth.
Trevor Bauer, pitching against the team that took him with the third pick of the 2011 draft, allowed two runs and struck out nine in a career-high eight innings.
Bauer didn’t allow a hit until the sixth when Arizona scored to break a scoreless tie. Michael Brantley’s two-run single put Cleveland ahead in the bottom of the inning, but the Diamondbacks tied the game in the seventh on Aaron Hill’s RBI groundout.
Bauer faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings before running into problems in the sixth. Jake Lamb drew a leadoff walk before Xavier Paul lined a clean single to right, putting runners on first and third. Lamb scored when Jordan Pacheco hit into a double play.
Bauer clashed with both Arizona management and teammates, leading to a short tenure with the Diamondbacks. The right-hander was 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in four starts for Arizona in 2012 and was traded to the Indians in December.
Vidal Nuno retired the first eight hitters, striking out five, before Tyler Holt recorded his first major league hit, a two-out single in the third.
Nuno allowed two runs in 5 2-3 innings.
Tuesday night’s game was postponed in the top of the fourth after a 3 hour, 40 minute rain delay, forcing the team to play a doubleheader. The Diamondbacks announced Tuesday that left-hander Andrew Chafin would make his major league debut in the first game, but manager Kirk Gibson opted to go with Nuno.
Chafin is the scheduled starter in Game 2 against Cleveland’s Josh Tomlin.
Diamondbacks: OF A.J. Pollock (broken right hand) is expected to resume his rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Reno over the weekend. Pollock returned to Phoenix after being hit by a pitch on the same hand during his rehab debut in the Class A Arizona League, but tests showed no additional damage.
Indians: DH Nick Swisher (sore right knee) will be examined by Dr. Neal S. ElAttrache, the team physician for the Dodgers, on Tuesday in Los Angeles. A determination on whether Swisher needs surgery could be made at that time.
Diamondbacks: After the doubleheader, Arizona continues its 10-game road trip with a four-game series in Miami on Thursday. Arizona RHP Chase Anderson (7-4) takes on RHP Brad Penny (1-0). Anderson is unbeaten in his past five starts, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.74 ERA over 31 innings.
Indians: Cleveland is off Thursday, but continues its five-game homestand Friday against Baltimore. Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (13-6) faces LHP Wei-Yin Chen (12-4). Kluber is tied for the American League lead in wins and ranks third with a 2.46 ERA and 187 strikeouts.
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Giants 7, White Sox 1
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants scored seven runs after a video review led umpires to overturn an out call at home because Chicago catcher Tyler Flowers illegally blocked Gregor Blanco, and San Francisco went on to beat the White Sox 7-1 on Wednesday.
In the seventh inning, Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu fielded Joe Panik’s broken-bat grounder to easily throw out Blanco for the second out. Giants manager Bruce Bochy challenged the play, and umpires ruled Flowers’ left leg was illegally blocking the plate before the ball arrived.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura argued the call and was immediately ejected, setting off an epic protest in which he repeatedly kicked dirt on the plate.
San Francisco snapped a five-game losing streak behind Jake Peavy (1-3).
Jose Quintana (6-9) took the loss.
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