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Red Sox 5, Reds 4

BaseballMajor League BaseballBoston Red SoxCincinnati RedsMike LeakeSkip SchumakerJay Bruce

The Sports Xchange

By Jeff Wallner, The Sports Xchange

Red Sox 5, Reds 4

CINCINNATI -- Mike Napoli hit a two-run home run and Anthony Ranaudo pitched six innings to earn his second career victory, lifting the Boston Red Sox to a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a brief two-game interleague series on Wednesday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Right fielder Skip Schumaker and pitcher Mike Leake homered for Cincinnati (61-59) which has lost 9 of 10 regular season meetings with the Red Sox.

Manager John Farrell said he'd try to avoid using closer Koji Uehara on Wednesday, so Edward Mujica got the call in the ninth.

Schumaker singled off Mujica leading off the ninth. Shortstop Zack Cozart fell behind 0-2 after two sacrifice bunt attempts then lined a single to left. Second baseman Ramon Santiago struck out trying to bunt. And, Mujica retired the final two batters for his third save for Boston (54-65).

Ranaudo (2-0) was making his second major league start and first against a National League opponent. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits including two homers in six innings.

Reds starter Mike Leake (9-11) allowed five earned runs and eight hits in five innings. He also hit a solo home run. Leake walked one and struck out five.

The Red Sox pounced on Leake in the first inning. Second baseman Brock Holt led off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on right fielder Daniel Nava's RBI hit.

Nava later slid home on a Napoli's grounder to make the score 2-0.

Schumaker, a late replacement in right field for Jay Bruce who was scratched due to illness, tied the score 2-2 with a 411-foot solo shot in the fourth.

Two batters later, Leake hit his fourth career home run to put Cincinnati ahead 3-2.

But the Red Sox responded quickly in the fifth with an RBI single by left fielder Yoenis Cespedes and a two-run home run by Napoli, putting them ahead 5-3.

Second baseman Kristopher Negron tripled and scored on third baseman Todd Frazier's sacrifice fly to trim the Reds' deficit to 5-4.

NOTES: Boston LF Yoenis Cespedes left the game after six innings with a right hand contusion. ... Red Sox CF Jackie Bradley Jr.'s second-inning single snapped an 0-for-35 skid. ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips could begin a minor-league rehab assignment as early as Friday. Phillips, who's been on the disabled list since suffering a torn ligament in his left thumb making a diving stop on July 9, began taking batting practice this week. ... Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia was given a day off on Wednesday. "He understands," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "I think that 19-inning game (on Saturday) took a lot out of the position players ... plus day game after a night game. I think it's a good day for a break." ... Reds RF Jay Bruce was scratched from Wednesday's starting lineup due to illness. Skip Schumaker replaced Bruce in right field.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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