Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Boston Red Sox defeated the Cleveland Guardians 4-2 on Thursday night for just their fifth victory in 20 games.
Guardians starter Triston McKenzie, who had permitted one run total in four previous July starts, took a one-hit shutout into the sixth before putting two on with one out for Bogaerts. The Red Sox shortstop hit an 0-2 slider out to center field to turn a one-run deficit into a 3-1 lead.
Boston scored another off McKenzie, who hadn’t allowed an extra-base hit all month, when Franchy Cordero led off the seventh with a double and scored on Bobby Dalbec’s hard line drive off the Green Monster.
In all, McKenzie (7-7) permitted six hits and walked one in seven innings in his first loss since June 27. He was 3-0 with a sparkling 0.34 ERA over his previous four starts.
Looking for the best online betting site and Live betting? Visit Heritage Sports!
Jake Diekman (2-0) retired all four batters he faced, striking out two in relief of Boston starter Kutter Crawford. His only mistake was a solo homer by José Ramírez in the fourth that sailed high over the top of the Pesky Pole.
The ball curved far to the right of the foul pole and Red Sox manager Alex Cora challenged whether it was fair, but replays gave no evidence that could say either way.
Garrett Whitlock pitched two innings for his third save.
The Red Sox honored broadcaster Joe Castiglione before the game for his 40 years on the air with the team.
A surprise guest was Roger Clemens, who was a rookie in 1984, the year after Castiglione debuted on the team’s radio call.
Clemens brought out a replica of the new plaque that marks the “Joe Castiglione Booth” in the Fenway press box.
Castiglione called Clemens’ record-setting 20-strikeout game versus Seattle in 1986 and the game where he matched the record 10 years later against Detroit. The Connecticut native was also on the mic, exclaiming “Can you believe it?” when the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series to end an 86-year drought.
Before Thursday’s game, he said it again: “Forty years. Can you believe it?”
Get all the latest Live Betting and Sport News updates on your social media outlets. Find us on both Facebook and Twitter