Masataka Yoshida homers twice in 9-run eighth inning as Red Sox take series from Brewers with 12-5 win

The Red Sox rode a nine-run eighth inning to a series-clinching victory over the Brewers on Sunday afternoon. Boston capped off the first leg of its road trip by defeating Milwaukee by a final score of 12-5 at American Family Field to get back over .500 at 12-11 on the season.

With Corbin Burnes starting for the Brewers, the Sox drew first blood in their half of the first inning. Alex Verdugo led off with a single and went from first to third on a Justin Turner base hit that was aided by a Bryce Perkins fielding error in right field. Masataka Yoshida then got his productive day at the plate started by driving in Verdugo on a sacrifice fly.

An inning later, Triston Casas drew a leadoff walk off Burnes and Jarren Duran followed with a single. A successful bunt single from Connor Wong then filled the bases with one out for Verdugo, who worked a six-pitch walk to bring in casas. With the bases re-loaded, Rafael Devers made it a 3-0 game by plating Duran on a sacrifice fly to right field.

Brayan Bello, meanwhile, was making his second start of the season for Boston. The young right-hander made relatively quick work of Milwaukee through the first three innings of Sunday’s contest before running into some trouble in the fourth.

After punching out Rowdy Tellez, Bello served up an opposite field home run to Brian Anderson to get the Brewers on the board. In the fifth, Joey Wiemer led off with a double and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt before cutting the deficit to one by scoring on a Christian Yelich RBI single. Yelich then went from first to third before coming into score on a game-tying sacrifice fly from Willy Adames.

Adames was the last batter Bello faced. The 23-year-old hurler finished with 82 pitches (52 strikes) and induced 12 swings-and-misses in the process of lowering his ERA on the season to 9.82. Richard Bleier received the first call out of the Red Sox bullpen in relief of Bello. The lefty fanned Tellez to end things in the fifth and then worked his way around a leadoff walk in a scoreless sixth inning.

Kaleb Ort took over for Bleier in the seventh and had a difficult time finding the strike zone. The hard-throwing righty put runners on the corners with one out on a pair of walks and a sacrifice bunt. He then spiked a wild pitch while Jesse Winker was up to bat. As a result, Wiemer came in to score the go-ahead run, thus giving the Brewers their first lead of the day at 4-3.

Despite only throwing 10 of his 26 pitches for strikes, Ort avoided any further damage in the seventh by retiring Adames and Tellez. The Red Sox, in turn, wasted no time in re-taking the lead in their half of the eighth as reliever Matt Bush entered the game for the Brewers.

Turner greeted Bush by crushing a game-tying, 388-foot solo shot to left field on the second pitch he saw. Moments later, Yoshida went back-to-back with Turner by clubbing a go-ahead home run 374 feet into the right field seats. An Enrique Hernandez double and one-out walk from Duran knocked Bush out of the game and brought Javy Guerra in.

Duran promptly stole second base before both he and Hernandez scored on a 104.4 mph two-run single from Wong. Following a Yu Chang single and intentional walk of Devers, Turner took ball four with the bases loaded to bring Yoshida to the plate yet again.

Yoshida took full advantage of the opportunity by going deep for the second time in the same inning. The left-handed hitter unloaded on an 0-2, 84.5 mph slider on the inner half of the plate from Guerra and deposited it 407 feet into the second deck in right field for his first career grand slam. Yoshida’s second big fly of the eighth (and third of the season) capped off a nine-run frame and put Boston up, 12-4.

From there, John Schreiber served up another home run to Anderson in the bottom of the eighth before Ryan Brasier retired the side in order in the ninth to end it. With the win, the Red Sox have now won three series in a row and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.

Yoshida makes some history

Masataka Yoshida became the first Red Sox player to homer twice in the same inning since David Ortiz did it in August 2008. Prior to Ortiz, only three players in team history (Nomar Garciaparra in 2002, Ellis Burks in 1990, and Bill Regan in 1928) had accomplished the feat, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.

All told, Yoshida went 2-for-4 with the two home runs, six RBIs, and two runs scored on Sunday.

Next up: Sale vs. Kremer

The Red Sox will open a three-game series against the 14-7 Orioles in Baltimore on Monday night. Left-hander Chris Sale will get the ball for Boston in the opener opposite right-hander Dean Kremer.

First pitch from Orioles Park at Camden Yards is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.

(Picture of Masataka Yoshida: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)


Author: Brendan Campbell

Blogging about the Boston Red Sox since April '17. Also support Tottenham Hotspur.

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