Red Sox-Reds Live: Will Middlebrooks’ Clutch RBI Single Caps Rally; Boston Wins 4-3

Jake PeavyFinal, Red Sox 4-3: That’s the Koji Uehara that Red Sox fans have come to love. Uehara struck out the side in the ninth inning to close out a 4-3 victory.

The Red Sox rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to seize their second straight win. A.J. Pierzynski tied the game with a ground-rule double down the right field line, and Will Middlebrooks gave Boston the lead with a single into center field.

The Red Sox now are back to .500 for the first time since April 4.

End 8th, Red Sox 4-3: The Red Sox have shown tremendous fight. Boston now will turn to Koji Uehara with a 4-3 lead after scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Mike Napoli worked a one-out walk against lefty Manny Parra in the eighth inning. The Red Sox then called upon Jonny Gomes to pinch-hit for Grady Sizemore, at which point the Reds countered with right-hander J.J. Hoover.

Hoover walked Gomes on four pitches, clearing respecting the outfielder’s flair for the dramatic.

A.J. Pierzynski tied things up with a sinking line drive down the right field line that dropped and bounced up into the seats for a ground-rule double.

Hoover intentionally walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to load the bases and set up a showdown against Will Middlebrooks. Middlebrooks responded with an incredible at-bat that ended with a base hit into center field to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead. Middlebrooks showed a lot of emotion while rounding first base.

Mike Carp pinch-hit for Jonathan Herrera and the Reds countered with lefty Sean Marshall. Marshall struck out Carp and Dustin Pedroia with the bases loaded to minimize the damage, but the Red Sox are three outs away from another dramatic victory at Fenway Park.

Mid 8th, Reds 3-2: Craig Breslow tossed a scoreless eighth inning.

Skip Schumaker walked to lead off the eighth, but the Red Sox turned another double play to keep things under control.

Brandon Phillips flied out to end things.

David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Grady Sizemore are due up for Boston in the bottom of the eighth. They’ll dig in against lefty Manny Parra.

End 7th, Reds 3-2: Shane Victorino threatened to tie the game in the seventh, but left fielder Chris Heisey made a fantastic running catch to end the inning.

Will Middlebrooks led off with a five-pitch walk. Jonathan Herrera, who started Boston’s sixth-inning rally with a leadoff single, dropped down a bunt that moved Middlebrooks to second base.

Dustin Pedroia struck out for the third time in this game before Victorino took aim at the left-center field gap. It initially looked like the ball would land near the base of the wall, but Heisey got an excellent jump and tracked it down on the edge of the warning track to preserve Cincinnati’s one-run lead.

Mid 7th, Reds 3-2: The Reds answered right back in the seventh inning.

Todd Frazier led off with a double to left field. It probably should have been a wall-ball single, but Grady Sizemore played it poorly off the Green Monster and the ball shot past him.

Brayan Pena followed with a single through the left side that put runners at the corners for Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick worked a five-pitch walk that ended Jake Peavy’s night.

John Farrell called upon lefty Chris Capuano with the left-handed-hitting Roger Bernadina batting. Bernadina hit a soft ground ball to second base, and Dustin Pedroia’s only play was to first. Pedroia nearly threw the ball away, but Mike Napoli — who has had a sensational game defensively — leaped to grab the errant toss. Frazier, meanwhile, scored the go-ahead run.

Burke Badenhop entered with one out and runners at second and third. He got Chris Heisey to ground to third base. Will Middlebrooks fielded the ball and fired home to nail Pena, who was off on contact.

Zack Cozart hit a dribbler in front of the plate that catcher A.J. Pierzynski sprung out from behind the dish to handle for the third out.

All things considered, the Red Sox are very fortunate to have escaped the seventh inning with just the one run allowed.

End 6th, 2-2: Boston’s bats awoke in the sixth inning.

Jonathan Herrera got things started out of the No. 9 hole with a single into center field. Shane Victorino sent Herrera racing from first to third with a line drive over the head of left fielder Chris Heisey.

David Ortiz followed Victorino’s wall-ball single with a line drive down the right field line that scored Herrera with Boston’s first run.

Mike Napoli, who stranded a runner at third base in the first inning by grounding into a double play, atoned for his mistake in the sixth. In an excellent piece of hitting, Napoli reached out and poked a 2-1 curveball located down and away into right field. Victorino trotted home with the Red Sox’s second run as Napoli sped into second base with a double.

The Red Sox had an opportunity to grab a lead with Ortiz and Napoli in scoring position with one out, but they couldn’t generate another big hit in the inning.

Grady Sizemore broke his bat while grounding out to second base. And after A.J. Pierzynski was intentionally walked, Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded to the right side, where first baseman Joey Votto knocked the ball down before picking it up and firing to second for an inning-ending forceout.

Mid 6th, Reds 2-0: Jake Peavy put together another strong inning in the sixth. The difference in this game still is Skip Schumaker’s two-run homer, which represents the game’s only offense.

Schumaker was the first Reds hitter retired by Peavy in the sixth inning. He flied out to left field.

Joey Votto grounded to first and Brandon Phillips grounded to short.

End 5th, Reds 2-0: A.J. Pierzynski lost his footing in the fifth inning.

Pierzynski, who led off with a single into right field, fell down between first and second base when Jackie Bradley Jr. grounded to third. The result was Pierzynski never making it to second — thus being out despite second baseman Brandon Phillips dropping Todd Frazier’s throw — and the Reds recording a forceout.

Will Middlebrooks then grounded into a double play.

Mid 5th, Reds 2-0: You can tell Dustin Pedroia used to play shortstop in college.

Pedroia helped the Red Sox turn their second highlight-reel double play in the fifth inning.

Roger Bernadina led off with a walk. Chris Heisey then hit a ground ball to third base that the Red Sox almost turned into two. Heisey beat Pedroia’s relay throw to first, though.

The Sox ended the inning moments later in impressive fashion. Zack Cozart hit a chopper to third base. Will Middlebrooks made the play and tossed to second base, where Pedroia made the grab while running across the bag before firing a strong throw back across his body to complete the double play.

End 4th, Reds 2-0: The Red Sox went down in order in the fourth.

David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Grady Sizemore couldn’t get anything going against Mike Leake.

Ortiz struck out, Napoli flied out and Sizemore grounded out.

Mid 4th, Reds 2-0: Jake Peavy rebounded nicely in the first inning.

Peavy retired Todd Frazier on a fly ball to Jackie Bradley Jr. in center field. The right-hander then struck out Brayan Pena and Ryan Ludwick.

Pena and Ludwick both went down swinging. Pena fanned on a fastball, and Ludwick came up empty on a cutter.

End 3rd, Reds 2-0: Dustin Pedroia smacked a two-out single into center field, but Mike Leake avoided any additional trouble.

Leake retired Will Middlebrooks and Jonathan Herrera on a pair of groundouts to begin the third inning. Herrera, of course, is starting in place of Xander Bogaerts, who is getting the night off after a shaky night in the series opener.

Pedroia then singled before Shane Victorino grounded to Zack Cozart at short to end the inning.

Mid 3rd, Reds 2-0: Skip Schumaker put the Reds on top in the third inning.

Chris Heisey began the inning with a line drive into the left field corner. Grady Sizemore raced over to dig it out, but Heisey motored into second base with a leadoff double.

Zack Cozart bunted Heisey over to third base, but it didn’t really matter. Schumaker jumped on Jake Peavy’s first pitch of the at-bat and sent it into the Reds’ bullpen for a two-run homer.

End 2nd, 0-0: The Red Sox pounded the dirt in the second inning.

Grady Sizemore, A.J. Pierzynski and Jackie Bradley Jr. all grounded out against Mike Leake.

Sizemore and Bradley grounded to second base. Pierzynski hooked a grounder to first base.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Mike Napoli continues to make an impact with his glove.

Roger Bernadina followed Ryan Ludwick’s one-out walk by smoking a ground ball toward the first base line. Napoli ranged over near the bag, scooped the hot-shot grounder and chucked an off-balance throw to second base, where shortstop Jonathan Herrera tagged Ludwick to complete an inning-ending double play.

Dustin Pedroia was all smiles after watching his teammate demonstrate some nifty glove work.

End 1st, 0-0: The Red Sox squandered a pretty good scoring chance in the first inning.

Shane Victorino and David Ortiz connected on back-to-back singles with one out. Victorino went from first to third on Ortiz’s single into right-center field.

Mike Napoli couldn’t do any damage, though. He grounded to short, where Zack Cozart kicked off an inning-ending double play.

Dustin Pedroia struck out to begin the first inning. Pedroia had a .500 on-base percentage in 14 plate appearances as the Red Sox’s first batter of the game before the strikeout.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Jake Peavy has issued at least four walks in four of his six starts this season. He allowed one walk in the first inning, although he bounced back to cap a scoreless frame.

Peavy handled Skip Schumaker and Joey Votto to begin his seventh start of 2014. Schumaker flied out to center field, and Votto struck out looking.

Brandon Phillips worked a seven-pitch pitch walk with two outs. It simply delayed the inevitable, though, as Todd Frazier lined a frozen rope right at Mike Napoli to end the inning.

7:12 p.m.: Jake Peavy deals a first-pitch strike. Baseball has begun on a pleasant night at Fenway Park.

6:40 p.m.: The Red Sox haven’t held a .500 record since April 4.

But, as far as useless knowledge is concerned, the odds are in Boston’s favor for this particular contest. The Red Sox are 4-0 on Wednesdays this season — the club’s only day of the week without a loss.

The Red Sox are 11-8 since April 19, which ranks third in the American League behind the Detroit Tigers (12-3) and the Seattle Mariners (9-6) in that span.

5:05 p.m.: Xander Bogaerts will get the night off Wednesday. It’s simply a routine off day that’s geared toward getting Bogaerts some extra rest and getting another left-handed bat into the lineup against right-hander Mike Leake.

Jonathan Herrera will play shortstop and bat ninth in Bogaerts’ absence.

Wednesday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (16-17)
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Shane Victorino, RF
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, LF
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Jonathan Herrera, SS

Jake Peavy, RHP (1-1, 2.87 ERA)

Cincinnati Reds (15-17)
Skip Schumaker, CF
Joey Votto, 1B
Brandon Phillips, 2B
Todd Frazier, 3B
Brayan Pena, C
Ryan Ludwick, DH
Roger Bernadina, RF
Chris Heisey, LF
Zack Cozart, SS

Mike Leake, RHP (2-3, 3.53 ERA)

5 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox have had eight chances to get back to .500 since starting the season 2-2. They have failed every time.

The Red Sox once again will look to reach the .500 mark Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park. Jake Peavy will face Mike Leak in the finale of a quick, two-game series before Boston heads to Texas for three games with the Rangers beginning Friday.

The Sox could carry some momentum into Wednesday’s contest, as Boston won in dramatic fashion Tuesday. Grady Sizemore collected his first walk-off hit since 2006 as the Red Sox defeated the Reds in 12 innings in the teams’ first head-to-head clash at Fenway since 2005.

Peavy suffered his first loss of the season in his last start Thursday. The right-hander dropped the first game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays despite allowing just two earned runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings. Peavy is 1-1 with a 2.87 ERA in six starts this season.

Peavy will face Leake, who enters at 2-2 with a 3.82 ERA. Leake suffered a loss in his last start Friday against the Milwaukee Brewers. The right-hander tossed eight innings of two-run ball, though, and was a hard-luck loser because of Cincinnati’s inability to score runs.

Wednesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com.

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