Yoenis Cespedes delivered the decisive home run for the second straight game as the Boston Red Sox beat the host Cincinnati Reds, 3-2, on Tuesday night.
Cespedes, whose three-run blast gave the Red Sox a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, struck again with a two-run shot in the eighth off Jonathan Broxton (4-1). Brock Holt led off the eighth with a single and Broxton retired the next two before leaving a 1-0 fastball over the middle that Cespedes sent 433 feet to straightaway center to put Boston on top.
Tommy Layne (1-0) retired all three batters he faced to pick up the win in relief of Joe Kelly, who allowed two runs in six innings in his second start since joining the Red Sox. Todd Frazier and Devin Mesoraco each drove in a run for the Reds, who dropped 2½ games behind San Francisco and St. Louis in the race for the second National League wild-card spot.
Billy Hamilton stole second and moved to third on an overthrow after leading off the first inning with a walk to get Cincinnati started. Kelly walked Jay Bruce before Frazier and Mesoraco struck for back-to-back RBI singles to stake the Reds to a quick 2-0 lead.
The Red Sox finally got to Mat Latos in the seventh when Daniel Nava led off with a double to left-center and scored on Xander Bogaerts' single. Edward Mujica got the final out of the eighth inning for Boston and Koji Uehara worked the ninth for his 26th save.
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GAME NOTEBOOK: The Reds dropped to 1-8 all-time in interleague play against Boston. ... The Red Sox recalled RHP Anthony Ranaudo from Triple-A Pawtucket and optioned Edwin Escobar. Ranaudo will start today (12:35 p.m.) in place of RHP Brandon Workman, who was used in relief on Saturday. Ranaudo, 24, returns to the Red Sox for his second major league stint of the season. He started and earned the win for the Red Sox in his major league debut on Aug. 1 against the Yankees at Fenway Park. Ranaudo held New York to two runs in six innings, allowing four hits and four walks while striking out two.