The monkey that seemed more like a silverback gorilla on their backs was removed by the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday night in Great American Ball Park.
The Boston Red Sox had won eight straight games in GABP when the night began and were 13-2 lifetime against the Reds.
But some stellar pitching from suddenly resurgent pitcher Chase Anderson and the bullpen, plus some timely hitting by Jonathan India and Kyle Farmer produced a 5-1 Cincinnati victory.
India and Farmer, both ensnared in slumps, each drove in two runs and Donovan Solano delivered a home run.
Anderson, who was one level below awful in his early starts for the Reds, is now a usable starter. He pitched five innings and gave up one run, three hits, walked none and struck out four.
And he put the Reds in the record books when he opened the game by hitting Tommy Pham with a pitch. Pham was the 100th batter hits by Reds pitchers, a major league single-season record.
After Anderson left, Fernando Cruz pitched a 1-2-3 sixth, Reiver Sanmartin pitched a scoreless one-hit inning, and Derek Law pitched a scoreless eighth.
He had a chance in the ninth to be the 11th different Reds pitcher to record a save this season, which would have been a franchise record.
But after Pham struck out for the third time to open the ninth, Law gave up back-to-back singles to Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts. That forced manager David Bell to call Alexis Diaz from the bullpen and he induced a game-ending double play from Alex Verdugo.
The Reds grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third, started by a leadoff single by Stuart Fairchild. With two outs he took second on one of Boston starter Connor Seebold’s four wild pitches.
India, covered in a 4 for 41 slump, delivered a run-scoring single to left field.
Boston drew even in the fourth on back-to-back singles to open the inning by Devers and Bogaerts and a sacrifice fly Alex Verdugo.
The Reds scored three in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Fairchild was aboard via a single with two outs. T.J. Friedl walked an another wild pitch moved the runners to third and second.
And India delivered again. His single to right scored a run. He stole second and that brought up Kyle Farmer, mired in an 0-for-18 slump. He made it 1-for-19 with a two-run bloop single to center for a 4-1 Reds lead.
Solano stretched the Reds lead to 5-1 in the eighth with a home run, his fourth, over the center field wall.
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