Red Sox

Red Sox rally for 5-4 win over Reds, extend AL East lead

red_sox_rafael_devers_092217.jpg

Red Sox rally for 5-4 win over Reds, extend AL East lead

CINCINNATI -- Staggered by Scooter Gennett's grand slam in the first inning, the Boston Red Sox regrouped and finally put some distance between themselves and the Yankees.

Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer Friday night, and the Red Sox extended their A.L. East lead to four games with a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Boston added to its lead with the help of the Yankees' 8-1 loss at Toronto.

The Red Sox have won 12 of 15, keeping the Yankees at bay while moving a season-high 25 games over .500 at 89-64. The Red Sox already have clinched a playoff berth and home-field advantage for the wild-card game, if it would come to that. Boston has never played a wild-card game, and doesn't want to settle for one now.

"The ball's in our court," David Price (6-3) said. "We win, we're fine. We don't care what the Yankees do. We just go play our game."

Their A.L. Cy Young Award winner is still struggling heading into playoff time, though.

Rick Porcello gave up Gennett's fourth grand slam -- a Reds' season record -- in the first inning. He lasted a season-low four innings, turning a 5-4 lead over to the bullpen. Porcello has lost 17 games - most in the majors - after winning 22 last year along with the Cy Young.

With the left-handed Price fresh, manager John Farrell decided Porcello was finished after 57 pitches.

"I just felt with the left-hander in David going against the heat of the order was the move to make," Farrell said. "I know Rick did not want to come out of that game, and I fully respect that."

Part of Porcello's problem has been a lack of run support. Boston has been blanked while he's on the mound in 10 of his losses. This time, the Red Sox got him off the hook, overcoming Gennett's career-high 27th homer with the help of Devers' three-run shot off Sal Romano (5-7).

The Red Sox are last in the AL with 159 homers.

Price pitched 2 2/3 innings and contributed a single, bringing the Red Sox to the front of the dugout for a celebration. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 34th save in 38 chances. He hasn't allowed a run in his last 10 appearances.

SCOOOTER'S LORE

Gennett was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee late in spring training. He has provided some of the Reds' best moments in an 88-loss season, including a four-homer game on June 6. His homer off Porcello ended the Red Sox' streak of 26 straight scoreless innings. He and Lou Gehrig are the only players with a four-homer game and four grand slams in any season.

"That sounds crazy," Gennett said of his connection with Gehrig.

INTERLEAGUE

The Red Sox are 10-1 against the Reds all-time in their interleague series. The Reds beat the Red Sox in seven games for the 1975 World Series championship. Overall, Boston is 14-4 in interleague play this season. The Reds are 5-13.

FATHER-SON

Farrell had lunch with his son Luke, a Reds reliever. Luke wears the same No. 52 as his father. The last time a manager faced his son as an opposing player was 2004, when the Giants' Felipe Alou went against his son Moises of the Cubs. Luke Farrell didn't get into the game Friday.

"It's definitely unique," John Farrell said. "Hopefully it's just a side story to a successful series for us."

HOMECOMING

Boston left fielder Andrew Benintendi had several hundred relatives and friends cheering him from the upper deck in left. Benintendi attended Madeira High School in suburban Cincinnati and regularly attended games at Great American Ball Park. His favorite player was Ken Griffey Jr.

"I just remember watching the guys play and picturing myself out there," Benintendi said . "It's crazy that I'm here now."

BARNHART'S DEAL

Reds C Tucker Barnhart agreed to a $16 million, four-year contract that covers his salary arbitration years and the first season after he would have been eligible for free agency. He receives a $1.75 million signing bonus and salaries of $4 million next year, $2.5 million in 2019, $3.5 million in 2020 and $3.75 million in 2021. As part of the deal announced Friday, Cincinnati has a $7.5 million option for 2022 with a $500,000 buyout.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Red Sox: INF Eduardo Nunez is increasing his daily workouts as he recovers from a sprained knee, but isn't close to a full return. "We have to see some marked improvement," Farrell said. "First thing would be a potential pinch-hit situation. We're not going to risk anything until we get him on the base paths and get a better feel for what he's capable of doing."

Reds: CF Billy Hamilton was back in the lineup for the first time since he broke his left thumb on Sept. 6 while bunting. He had two singles and was caught stealing when he over-slid second base.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (5-6) is 1-1 with a 2.55 ERA in his last three starts. He's 2-2 in eight career interleague starts.

Reds: Rookie Robert Stephenson (5-5) is 5-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last six starts.

David Ortiz's wife, Tiffany, shares touching Father's Day tribute to Big Papi

David Ortiz's wife, Tiffany, shares touching Father's Day tribute to Big Papi

This Father's Day hit close to home for Tiffany Ortiz.

Sunday marked exactly one week since Tiffany's husband, former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, was shot outside a bar in the Dominican Republic.

Ortiz sustained serious injuries but is in stable condition at Massachusetts General Hospital and expected to make a full recovery, which had Tiffany counting her blessings in a Father's Day Instagram tribute to "Big Papi."

View this post on Instagram

This Fathers Day brings with it a new appreciation for life and an awareness in what truly matters. This man, my husband, the father of our beautiful children has been the center of our universe for as long as we have been together (23years strong). It has been deeply felt that the outside world also acknowledges his presence as a father figure to all. Please celebrate this Papi’s Day with the ones you love. Be present in every moment, don’t get hung up on gifts, material things, titles, fame or fortune. Those things can be taken away in a moments notice and all we are left with is the memories of the moments we truly connected and grounded ourselves in true love ❤️ #PapisDay #Fathersday #surroundyourselveswithreallove #groundyourselfinnature #connectwithgod #allwehaveisthepresentmoment #familyovereverything #weallhaveapurposeinlife #iambeyondgrateful #pleasekeepPapiinyourprayers 🙏🏽💙

A post shared by Tiffany Ortiz (@tlortiz) on

Juliana Ramirez, the wife of Ortiz's former Red Sox teammate Manny Ramirez, was among thousands to comment on Tiffany's post with their well wishes.

David and Tiffany's two children, DeAngelo and Alexandria, also posted Instagram tributes to their father Sunday, as the family is sticking close together while Ortiz recovers.

View this post on Instagram

A late Happy Father’s Day to my day one. Nothing more to say other than thank you for the sacrifices you have made to give not only me but our entire family the whole world in our eyes. You have worked so tremendously hard while not fully enjoying the fruits of your labor. The thing you said today that made me pause was: “sorry, this isn’t the way we should celebrate Father’s Day.” Shortly after I replied “we still have Dominican Father’s Day” through invading tears as I can’t wait to show you the Game of Thrones inspired gift. Also, unrelated, I can now read Tarot cards only in terms of Game of Thrones. Feliz día de los padres tardío a mi papá. No queda mucho por decir mas que darte las gracias por los sacrificios que has hecho para darme no solo a mi sino a toda nuestra familia el mundo en nuestros ojos. Has construido una vida tremenda incluso sin poder disfrutar de tus frutos. Lo que dijiste hoy que me hizo pausar fue: “perdóname, así no es que celebramos el Día del Padre.” Poco después, te respondí “Aún tenemos el Día del Padre Dominicano,” a través de las lágrimas que me invadían. No puedo esperar a enseñarte tu regalo inspirado en Game of Thrones. En otra nota, puedo leer cartas del Tarot relacionadas a Game of Thrones.

A post shared by Alexandria Ortiz (@alex.veda.ortiz) on

Alexandria included an emotional detail in her post, mentioning that Ortiz told her Sunday, "sorry, this isn’t the way we should celebrate Father’s Day."

But the Ortiz clan seems to be rallying around David, just as authorities attempt to administer justice in the expanding case: Nine suspects now have been indicted in connection to Ortiz's shooting, while a 10th has turned himself in.

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Report details separate attempt to harm David Ortiz months before shooting

Report details separate attempt to harm David Ortiz months before shooting

Police have indicated the attempt on David Ortiz's life last Sunday night was part of a (somewhat) coordinated plan.

It also may not have been the first attempt to murder or harm the former Boston Red Sox slugger.

The New York Daily News' Teri Thompson and Christian Red describe an incident involving Ortiz that took place in the Dominican Republic months before Sunday's shooting, citing three sources, including one "with knowledge of the Ortiz case."

From the Daily News:

The sources claim Ortiz’s white Lexus was chased and cut off by a black Mercedes SUV before crashing in front of a firehouse. Firefighters came to his assistance, according to the sources, but an official report is not believed to have been made. The incident did not appear in the media.

It isn't clear who was involved in that attempt to run Ortiz off the road, and whether they had a connection to those involved in Ortiz's shooting last Sunday in the Dominican.

But the scope appears to be widening in the Ortiz case, as police now have indicted nine suspects involved in Sunday's shooting -- including the alleged gunman, Rolfi Ferreira-Cruz -- while a tenth suspect has turned himself in.

Reports suggest at least two of those suspects have ties to the United States; Ferreira-Cruz was indicted in New Jersey in 2017 in a robbery case, while Luis Rivas-Clase is suspected to be the same person wanted in a 2018 shooting in Reading, Pa.

Amid reports that last Sunday's attack on Ortiz may have been orchestrated from prison, a source told the Daily News: "That hit could have easily happened in the U.S."

Ortiz was still in Massachusetts General Hospital's intensive care unit as of late last week as he recovers from multiple surgeries to repair liver and kidney damage, according to his wife, Tiffany.

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