Red Sox grab big lead, sweep Phillies
BOSTON -- Call it deja vu for David Ortiz. The slugger went deep again Sunday afternoon, inching closer to the 500-homer mark, and drove in three to back Eduardo Rodriguez's impressive start as the Red Sox swept the Phillies, 6-2, at Fenway Park.
Ortiz, who also homered Saturday, smoked a two-run shot to right -- his 497th home run -- in the first for a 2-0 lead, though he later exited the game with right calf tightness and is day to day.
Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-run triple in a four-run fourth, his sixth extra-base hit in seven games, and Rodriguez spun seven strong innings of one-run ball in Boston's second three-game sweep.
"He controlled his pitch counts, he was on the attack -- great outing [that] kind of set the tone for us to do some things offensively," Red Sox interim manager Torey Lovullo said of Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA over his last four starts, but Lovullo said the southpaw has an innings limit, which could mean shorter outings for the rest of the season.
Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff, the third rookie trotted out by the Phillies in the series, surrendered six runs, eight hits and a pair of walks over four innings in his first real stumbling block. He had recorded quality starts in each of his first three Major League outings.
The Phillies are 3-10 in their past 13 games, and their starters own a Major League-high 6.31 ERA on the road in 2015.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
No. 497: With two outs and Xander Bogaerts on first in the first, Ortiz launched career homer No. 497 over the right field wall. It was his 200th long ball at Fenway, a feat only three other Red Sox hitters -- Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice -- have achieved. Ortiz exited the game for a pinch-hitter in the fifth due to right calf tightness.
"He backspun it and it went about as far as I've seen a ball go in this stadium, probably nine, 10 rows back," Lovullo said. "It was a beautiful swing, it was a great finish, and it was a typical David moment."
Ortiz made a bid for No. 498 one inning later, ripping a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to the warning track in center field. His calf stiffened up on the play, and he was replaced by pinch-hitter Allen Craig in the fifth. More >
Magic Mook: In the fourth, Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts made a running catch at the right-center field wall to rob Darin Ruf of what might have been a solo home run. Betts got a great jump and caught the ball in stride, reaching up as he hit the padding next to the home bullpen. The grab kept Boston's 6-1 lead intact.
"I thought it was [going to be] a homer," Rodriguez said. "When I saw him catch the ball, wow -- that's crazy how he can catch balls like that." More >
Eickhoff done in early: The 25-year-old labored mightily through the second and needed 44 pitches to finish the inning. Even after he erased a leadoff double by catching Rusney Castillo trying to swipe third, Eickhoff's shaky command opened the door for Boston to plate four runs on five hits in the frame. Bradley authored the biggest blow when he smacked a 2-2 fastball to right for a triple. Eickhoff settled down somewhat after that, working a perfect four-pitch third inning and a scoreless fourth.
"I think I just got back to what makes me good as a pitcher," Eickhoff said. "Just located my fastball a little better. I think I got away from that [early]. I kind of started hot and heavy. But the last two innings I got back to that, what I do best."
"These young guys, they're taking their lumps," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "But that's what this year's about and that's what the first time through the big leagues, you got to fine-tune it a little bit and get over the experience of being here for the first time." More >
Odubel vision: Although the Phillies' offense remained largely dormant, center fielder Odubel Herrera stayed hot by recording his third multihit performance in six games, which raised his average above .300 for the first time since May 3. His .302 mark is the Phillies' best among qualified hitters.
"What a Rule 5 [Draft] pick, Herrera. Boy is he fun to watch," Mackanin said. "And he's over .300 now. Playing super defense. I don't know if it was [pro scouting director] Mike Ondo, but somebody did a heck of a job getting that guy."
"We can go back to May and June, he would have a bump in the road and give up five runs and come out of the game. That hasn't happened in a long time. That's maturity." -- Lovullo, on Rodriguez
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Ortiz's 200 home runs at Fenway are the most by any active player at any one ballpark.
Phillies: Right-hander Aaron Harang (5-14, 4.89 ERA) takes the mound as the Phils begin a 10-game homestand at Citizens Bank Park, starting with Monday's 7:05 p.m. ET series opener against the Braves. Harang hasn't won since he last faced Atlanta on July 30, when he allowed one run over five innings. He carries a 0.95 ERA in three starts against the club this season.
Red Sox: The Red Sox welcome the Blue Jays to Fenway on Monday for the first of three games. Right-hander Rick Porcello, who has allowed just one earned run in 15 innings over his past two starts, will take the ball for Boston. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET.
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