BOSTON (AP) ― Mocked and booed relentlessly just a few days ago, the Red Sox are suddenly back in the good graces of Boston fans ― at least for now.
Boston increased its modest winning streak to three with a 12-1 rout of the Cleveland Indians on Sunday. The Red Sox remain stuck in last place, but the way this season has gone a three-game winning streak is worthy of a celebration.
“You start putting runs on the board and winning, everyone’s going to get excited,” said Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who homered during a six-run seventh inning and drove in five runs Sunday. “But we feed off that. We feed off each other. We feed off the crowd and that’s something we were able to do today.”
Rookie Will Middlebrooks hit his fourth homer for the Red Sox, who have rebounded from a 1-8 skid with three straight wins.
Daniel Bard (3-4) survived some early control problems and held the Indians to one run despite walking four and allowing six hits over six innings.
Justin Masterson (1-2) also had control issues, falling behind 4-0 while facing all nine Boston batters in the first inning. He lasted six innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and hit three batters.
“He struggled with his command, especially against left-handed hitters. When he does that he gets in trouble,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “His sinker was leaking out over the plate and they took advantage of it.”
M’s spoil Pettitte’s return
NEW YORK (AP) ― Andy Pettitte repeatedly shook his head, smiled and glanced down at the table in the interview room while he tried ― in his “aw shucks” manner ― to find one thing that made his return to the big leagues feel strange.
Pettitte was back on the mound Sunday for the Yankees, getting lavished with adoration while pitching into the seventh inning despite giving up a pair of two-run homers in New York’s 6-2 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
It was as if he never left.
“I just cannot believe how comfortable this is for me,” Pettitte said. “I don’t know how to explain it.”
Nearly lost amid the excitement over Pettitte’s first major league appearance since retiring after the 2010 season was party crasher Kevin Millwood’s performance for Seattle ― helped by three double plays. The 37-year-old Millwood (1-4) gave up three hits in seven innings and got his 2,000th career strikeout as Seattle avoided a three-game sweep.
The Yankees tried to prevent their old pal Pettitte from taking the loss with a rally in the eighth against four Seattle relievers. Robinson Cano was walked with two outs by Charlie Furbush with the bases loaded to make it 4-2. Mark Teixeira, though, struck out to end the inning.
Votto homers three times
CINCINNATI (AP) ― Joey Votto hit a grand slam in the ninth inning for his third home run of the game, rallying the Cincinnati Reds to a rain-delayed 9-6 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday.
Washington came into the game with only 15 homers allowed all season, fewest in the majors. Votto broke out of his power drought and helped the Reds avoid a sweep with three perfect swings.
He hit solo homers in his first two at-bats and finished a big day with his second career slam. It came against struggling closer Henry Rodriguez (1-3), who had trouble with his control on the wet mound. Rodriguez walked two batters to load the bases with two outs, then left a 2-2 pitch up and over the plate to Votto.
Miami 8, NY Mets 4
Tampa Bay 9, Baltimore 8
Philadelphia 3, San Diego 2
Pittsburgh 3, Houston 2
Kansas City 9, Chicago White Sox 1
Chicago Cubs 8, Milwaukee 2
Minnesota 4, Toronto 3
Atlanta 7, St. Louis 4
Detroit 3, Oakland 1
LA Dodgers 11, Colorado 5
San Francisco 7, Arizona 3
Texas 13, LA Angels 6