The Cincinnati Reds were handed yet another one run loss in Boston on Wednesday as the leave Beantown without a win after the Red Sox won for the second night in a row 4-3.
The Red Sox (17-17) will head to Cincinnati (15-18) on Aug. 12 and 13 to finish up the four game season series. The Reds are 5-10 in one run games this season including an 0-4 stretch in interleague play (1-4 overall in interleague play).
Mike Leake and Jake Peavy each turned in quality starts, but much like Tuesday's extra innings win, the decisions would go to the bullpens. Leake lasted seven giving up two while Peavy allowed three in six innings. The two did not allow a run until the third inning when Skip Schumaker untied the game homered for the first time this season to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Schumaker was one of the benefactors of interleague play. After going 0-5 in his first of the season on Sunday, Schumaker went 3-8 in both games against Boston and drove in three of the Reds six runs. He's also filled the spot of Billy Hamilton, who is still suffering the effects after making a diving catch against Milwaukee last Thursday. Even when Hamilton returns, he can still help fill the outfield hole left by Jay Bruce's trip to the disabled list as well as spelling the veteran Ryan Ludwick in left.
Leake continued to coast until the sixth inning when the heart of the order finally packed its punch. With runners on first and third, David Ortiz singled in Jonathan Herrera and then Mike Napoli scored Dustin Pedroia on a double. Luckily some damage was saved by the slow footed Ortiz, who had no chance of scoring. Leake wiggled off the hook with two ground balls to end the inning.
He was set up for the win in the seventh when Todd Frazier doubled, Brayan Pena singled, then Ryan Ludwick drew a walk to load the bases and end Peavy's night. Chris Capuano gave up the lead against the only batter he faced, Roger Berandina, who grounded out to second to make it a 3-2 game. Burke Badenhop came on in relief of Capuano and Chris Heisey's ground ball resulted in Pena being thrown out at home and then Zack Cozart grounded out to end the threat.
That proved costly as the Reds needed those extra runs in the eighth when the bullpen struggled to throw strikes. Manny Parra was able to strike out Ortiz, but walked Napoli before being replaced by J.J. Hoover. Hoover (1-4) walked former Red and pinch hitter Jonny Gomes then gave up a ground rule to A.J. Pierzynski to get charged with a blown save. Hoover then gave up the go-ahead run on a single by Will Middlebrooks. Sean Marshall stopped the scoring with back-to-back strikeouts.
Koji Uehara easily picked up his eighth save to secure the win for the Red Sox and Craig Breslow (2-0). Uehara struck out Frazier, Pena, and Ludwick on 13 pitches to continue the Reds woes in interleague play.
Cincinnati returns home against a National League opponent to face the hottest hitter in all of baseball. Nolan Arenado extended his hit steak to 27 games on Wednesday in Texas and will go for 28 when the Rockies and Rangers get together Thursday. Arenado tied the Rockies record set by Michael Cuddyer last season, which included three games against the Reds. He is also trying for the first 30 game hit streak since Andre Eithier did it for the Dodgers in 2011. Arenado is chasing Willie Keeler's 45-games for the NL record and Joe DiMaggio's 56 for the all-time record. Pete Rose fell one short of Keeler's record in 1978 and was the closest to DiMaggio's streak since it happened in 1941.
If he can hit in his 28th straight, 29 will be a tough task against Johnny Cueto (3-2, 1.31 ERA, 0.73 WHIP). Cueto will be opposed by Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 7.20 ERA) who is making just his second start of the season on Friday.