It looked as if the Boston Red Sox were going to take a loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday afternoon, but the Sox would rally with four runs in the eighth inning as right fielder Mookie Betts ripped a bases-clearing double to tie the game and would come around to score the game-winning run for a thrilling 5-4 win.
Boston starting pitcher Doug Fister gave up three runs on a whopping nine hits over 5.1 innings. Fister was able to strike out nine batters and Boston’s offense bailed him out of a loss as he took the no-decision.
The three runs he gave up allowed Cincinnati to take a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning before going up by three runs on a throwing error by second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
Down 4-1 in the eighth inning, Boston loaded the bases to bring Betts to the dish. He worked the count to 3-2 before he hit a double to left to tie the game at four as he cleared the bases.
Third baseman Rafael Devers then drove in Betts on an infield single and closer Craig Kimbrel threw a perfect ninth inning and earned his 35th save of the season.
The bullpen was solid in the win with relief pitcher Fernando Abad working around a walk given up by Fister in the sixth inning to get the final two outs. Relief pitcher Brandon Workman gave up a walk, hit and a run in the seventh, but relief pitchers Robby Scott and Addison Reed pitched well, combining for three strikeouts on the afternoon.
With their sixth-straight win, the Sox improved to 91-64 while the Reds fell to 66-90 on the season and extended their lead over the New York Yankees for first place in the American League East division to five.
Magic number to clinch the division: 3
Game MVP: Mookie Betts: He only went 1-for-4, but that one hit tied the game and Betts would score what would prove to be the game-winning run. With his three RBI, he now sits at 99 on the season.
Fun fact: Going into today, the Red Sox bullpen had a streak of 18 scoreless innings that was snapped today after relief pitcher Brandon Workman gave up a run in the seventh inning.
What’s on deck: The Red Sox come back home to Fenway Park on Monday to begin a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays (73-83). Boston will send Drew Pomeranz (16-5, 3.15 ERA) to the mound to oppose Brett Anderson (3-4, 7.15 ERA).
First pitch set for 7:10 PM.