BOSTON- Grady Sizemore delivered a game-winning single with nobody out in the 12th inning, giving the Boston Red Sox a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a two-game inter-league series on Tuesday night.
David Ortiz opened the 12th win a single off Logan Ondrusek and moved up on a Mike Napoli single. Ortiz seemed to be looking into the dugout for a runner, but it didn’t matter as Sizemore then came through with his third hit of the night, a long drive off the wall in left-center, scoring Ortiz from second.
Left-hander Craig Breslow pitched the top of the 12th, striking out two and getting the win.
Red Sox closer Koji Uehara pitched out of trouble in the ninth, when rookie catcher Tucker Barnhart hit one almost 380 feet that was run down by right fielder Shane Victorino, a ball that’s a home run in Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, way into the right field seats.
Left-hander Andrew Miller struck out four in two scoreless innings before Breslow came on.
The Reds, making their second visit to Fenway Park since winning the classic 1975 World Series, tied the game with two runs off right-hander Junichi Tazawa in the eighth inning. A walk, a double by second baseman Brandon Phillips, an RBI single by third baseman Todd Frazier and a sacrifice fly by left fielder Ryan Ludwick tied the game.
Napoli drove in two runs for the Red Sox, while second baseman Dustin Pedroia had three hits.
Boston left-hander Felix Doubront, who hasn’t won since his first start, left with the lead after working 5 1/3 innings.
Reds starter Homer Bailey pitched six innings, allowing three runs.
Right-hander Burke Badenhop relieved Doubront with two on and one out in the sixth and his first pitch was turned into a 4-6-3 double play started by Pedroia.
Badenhop worked a perfect seventh before Tazawa came on and blew the setup.
The Reds, who are battling injuries, fell to 15-17.
The Red Sox reached Bailey for a run in the first inning, when they were helped by Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart failing to properly touch second base on what should have been a double play. Napoli, returning after missing a start to rest his injured left ring finger, drove in the run on a check-swing groundout.
Reds got the run right back in the second inning but could have had more. A walk and a double led to an RBI single by center fielder Skip Schumacher, his first RBI in just his third game of the season. With first and third and nobody out, the Reds failed to take the lead.
The home team moved in front in the third when Napoli walked with the bases loaded and Sizemore singled home a run. Boston had the bases loaded with one out but couldn’t add to its advantage.
The Red Sox wasted a leadoff double by Ortiz and an ensuing walk to Napoli that started the fifth. Ludwick made a nice catch of a Sizemore drive at the scoreboard.
Tough loss tonight, after a long night at Boston. Both teams will close their short two game series tomorrow night, with Mike Leake on the mound for the Reds and Jake Peavy for the Sox.
First pitch is at 7:10pm.