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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - Hoover blows lead, Reds lose 4-3 to Red Sox

Hoover blows lead, Reds lose 4-3 to Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) -- Will Middlebrooks hit an RBI single with the bases loaded, capping a two-run rally in the eighth inning that sent the Boston Red Sox over the Cincinnati Reds 4-3 Wednesday night for a sweep of the two-game interleague series.

David Ortiz and Mike Napoli also drove in runs for the World Series champion Red Sox, who reached .500 for the first time since the fourth game of the season.

Skip Schumaker hit a two-run homer for Cincinnati, who lost the opener to Boston 4-3 in 12 innings.

Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, the Red Sox scored against two relievers.

Mike Napoli drew a one-out walk from Manny Parra, J.J. Hoover (1-4) walked pinch-hitter Jonny Gomes and A.J. Pierzynski's ground-rule double tied it at 3. Jackie Bradley Jr. was intentionally walked before Middlebrooks sent a hard grounder up the middle.

Craig Breslow (2-0), who also got the win in Tuesday's game, pitched one hitless inning. Koji Uehara struck out the final three batters for his eighth save.

Cincinnati starter Mike Leake pitched seven strong innings and was in line for the win before Boston rallied. He gave up two runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out four.

Boston's Jake Peavy allowed three or fewer runs for the sixth time in seven starts, giving up three runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

The Reds took a 3-2 lead in the seventh when Roger Bernadina bounced a slow groundout to second against reliever Chris Capuano with the bases loaded.

In the bottom half, left fielder Chris Heisey made a nice inning-ending running catch on Shane Victorino's liner into the gap with the tying run on second.

Boston tied it with a pair of runs in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Ortiz and RBI double by Napoli. It could have been worse for Leake, but Grady Sizemore bounced to second with runners on second and third and, after an intentional walk, Bradley Jr. hit an inning-ending grounder.

Schumaker, who came off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday after being sidelined since spring training with a dislocated left shoulder, homered in the third after Heisey had a leadoff double.

The teams bounced into a combined five double plays, with the Red Sox turning three.

NOTES: Boston manager John Farrell didn't start SS Xander Bogaerts to "get another left-handed bat in the lineup." Switch-hitter Jonathan Herrera took his spot and batted ninth. Bogaerts came in as a defensive replacement in the ninth. ... Leake had given up eight hits and four runs over seven innings in each of his last two starts. ... Reds RHP Alfredo Simon turned 33 Wednesday. ... The Reds are off until Friday, when they open a six-game homestand against Colorado with RHP Johnny Cueto (3-2, 1.31 ERA) going against RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-1, 7.20). After Peavy, Chacin is the second of four straight starting pitchers the Reds are scheduled to face with the first letter of their first name starting with the letter "J." The Rockies will are also slated pitch RHP Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio. ... Boston is also off Thursday before opening a six-game road trip in Texas when RHP Clay Buchholz (2-2, 5.63) faces Yu Darvish (2-1, 2.87).Hoover blows lead, Reds lose 4-3 to Red Sox

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Ohio Sports

BREWERS-REDS

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Johnny Cueto pitched seven solid innings, and the Cincinnati Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 on Tuesday night after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.

The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.

REDS-BAKER

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.

INDIANS-WHITE SOX

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

Chicago (82-72) had held sole possession of the division lead since September 3. Detroit pulled into a tie for the division lead with its win over Kansas City last night.

T25-OHIO ST-MATCHING UP

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.

T25-UPTIGHT SPARTANS

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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