Xander Bogaerts laced the first of four consecutive two-out RBI doubles that produced five unearned runs in the fifth inning, and the host Boston Red Sox defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 7-2 on Sunday.
The Red Sox avoided a three-game series sweep and won for just the third time in 10 games since the All-Star break, in a swoon that dropped them to last place in the AL East.
Right-hander Josh Winckowski (4-5) picked up the win, the first for a Red Sox starter in July. He went five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Those runs came in the second inning on Hunter Renfroe’s 19th homer, which followed Kolten Wong’s double.
Brewers’ starter Aaron Ashby (2-9) kept Boston off the scoreboard for four innings and may have in the fifth if not for an infield error. Instead, the left-hander didn’t finish the frame, charged with the five unearned runs on five hits, three walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
With the Red Sox down 2-0, Christian Arroyo walked to lead off the fifth, and everybody was safe when Wong, at second base, failed to catch shortstop Willy Adames’ throw for a force out.
Ashby nearly escaped when Jackie Bradley Jr. bunted into a force at third and Jaylin Davis lined out, but Bogaerts rapped a tying two-run double down the line in left. J.D. Martinez, Christian Vazquez and Alex Verdugo all followed with doubles, the last of those against reliever Hoby Milner, for a 5-2 lead.
The Brewers failed to score in the fourth when a double play ended a bases-loaded threat, and in the fift, when Adames was picked off second with two runners on base. Another missed opportunity came in the sixth.
Facing Boston reliever Garrett Whitlock, Renfroe reached base on the third of his four hits with a two-out single to center. Luis Urias followed with a shot up the middle that deflected off Whitlock for a single, but Narvaez popped out.
The Red Sox added two runs in the sixth on an RBI by Bradley and Davis’ RBI single.
Bogaerts, Martinez, Arroyo and Bradley had two hits apiece for Boston, which finished with 11. Martinez and Bradley doubled twice, while Arroyo also walked twice.
Christian Yelich and Urias each had two of Milwaukee’s 11 hits.
The NL Central-leading Brewers lost for just the second time in nine games since the All-Star break.
–Field Level Media