CINCINNATI After being brushed back, Yoenis Cespedes got payback.
One pitch after ducking away from Jonathan Broxton’s high-and-inside fastball, Cespedes launched a no-doubt, 433-foot drive to center field with two outs in the eighth inning, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 3-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
“A lot of times when pitchers throw high and tight, they think the batter backs off and gets flustered,” Cespdes said after the game through a translator. “That’s not how I am. I get more focused.”
Manager John Farrell pointed out that the eighth-inning, go-ahead homer was Cespedes’s second in two games, giving Boston back-to-back victories for the first time since a five-game winning streak from July 13-20. Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning of Sunday’s 3-1 win over the Angels.
“Broxton stood him up, then he got a fastball out over the plate, and (Cespedes) showed how strong he is,” Farrell said. “I’m not saying it was intentional.”
Cespedes hit his 19th homer of the season. He has reached base at least once in all nine games he’s played for the Red Sox since they acquired him from Oakland in a trade.
Broxton’s approach was the same used by the Reds all night, manager Bryan Price said.
“I have no regrets about Broxton,” Price said. “He went right after (Cespedes). We jammed him the first two times up. We were trying to come inside on him.”
Tommy Layne (1-0) got the final out of the seventh inning for the win. Broxton (4-1) was the loser.
Kojo Uehara pitched the ninth for his 26th save.
Boston starter Joe Kelly opened the interleague game with seven straight balls. When he finally threw a strike to Jay Bruce, Billy Hamilton stole second and went to third on catcher Christian Vazquez’s throwing error.
Kelly walked Bruce, setting up Todd Frazier’s RBI single. Devin Mesoraco, who hit a grand slam and two-run homer while setting a career high with six RBIs in Cincinnati’s 7-2 win over Miami on Sunday, followed with a run-scoring hit.
Mat Latos retired 11 straight batters before Daniel Nava led off the seventh with a double. Xander Bogaerts snapped a 0-for-15 slump with an RBI single.
Latos gave up five hits and one run with one walk and five strikeouts in seven innings.
Kelly allowed five hits and two runs with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings as the Red Sox improved to 4-3 on their eight-game road trip.