Yoenis Cespedes showed off his power once more Tuesday night, providing the Red Sox with a late two-run blast to turn a one-run loss into a one-run win over the Reds.
The Red Sox found themselves in trouble early on thanks to a shaky opening inning from Joe Kelly. In fact, he almost seemed to show up late. The first seven pitches of his night were fastballs that missed, most of them quite badly. With Jay Bruce eventually working the second straight walk off Kelly to start the game, and Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco picking up singles to bring two runs home, Kelly seemed destined for a short, disastrous night.
Then he threw a first-pitch changeup to Brayan Pena, got a double play off it, and enjoyed smooth sailing from there. The Reds' next best rally came in the third on a couple of weak fly ball singles, ending in no runs scored as Pena once again hit into an out on the ground. Kelly even did work on offense to try and get those runs back, singling to lead off the third and then stealing third base(!) with Mat Latos clearly neglecting to pay attention to his presence at second. Where Kelly had succeeded, however, both David Ortiz and Yoenis Cespedes failed to reach base, leaving him stranded 90 feet away.
That was one of only two threats the Red Sox would produce against Latos in the first six innings, with a couple of singles in the first left wanting as Cespedes and Nava failed to drive in Ortiz and Pedroia. Both men would make up for their earlier failings, however. First, in the seventh, Nava led off the frame with a line drive to left, then scored when Xander Bogaerts slapped a single in the same direction, giving the Red Sox their first run of the game.
Cespedes, however, had left four men on base, and had more to answer for. Only fitting, then, that he provided the greater penance. With Brock Holt on second base, Jonathan Broxton came up and in on Cespedes with his first 95 MPH fastball, then left his second one right over the heart of the plate. Cespedes took full advantage, unloading on the mistake and sending it well beyond the wall in dead center for a no-doubt two-run shot, giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead that Tommy Layne, Edward Mujica, and Koji Uehara were able to hold onto without too much trouble.
The Red Sox went out and got Yoenis Cespedes because they needed someone who could hit the ball a long way. Now, in two straight games, Cespedes has done exactly that, and the Red Sox have left as winners both times as a result.