Yoshida Hits a Grand Slam and Drives in 6 as the Red Sox Rout the Cubs 11-5 Behind Crawford
Masataka Yoshida hit a grand slam and a two-run triple, powering Kutter Crawford and the Boston Red Sox to an 11-5 blowout over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Rafael Devers and pinch-hitter Triston Casas also homered for the surging Red Sox, who have won seven of eight. Crawford allowed one hit in six shutout innings.
Yoshida launched the second grand slam of his rookie season in Boston’s five-run fifth against All-Star lefty Justin Steele. Yoshida connected for his 11th homer on a 2-0 count after the Red Sox put together four straight hits, extending their lead to 6-0. Rob Refsnyder had an RBI single.
“It’s kind of like a video game,” Crawford said of Yoshida. “He’s unbelievable. He’s a great hitter, a great teammate and helping the team in a lot of ways.”
Yoshida added a two-run triple in the seventh, and a single in the ninth off catcher Tucker Barnhart. Yoshida’s streak of eight straight multi-hit games ended Saturday — it was the longest by a Red Sox left-handed hitter since Ted Williams in 1940.
“Whenever I can hit, I want to hit — a lot,” Yoshida said through a translator.
Crawford (4-4) struck out nine and walked four. He said he was fighting mechanical issues during the first three innings.
“It definitely helps when the offense gives you a lead like that,” Crawford said. “It takes a lot of weight off your shoulders. At that point, all my job to do is to try to throw strikes. Being able to grind through that beginning half and still competing and not giving in in certain situations is very rewarding.”
Steele (9-3) allowed six runs and 10 hits over six innings after tossing a scoreless inning at Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
“I felt pretty good today,” Steele said. “As far as all my stuff goes, I threw some good sinkers, some good sliders. I felt good with my four-seam. The pitch to Devers that he hit out, that was a pretty well-executed slider low and away. He just put a really good swing on it.”
Devers hit his 23rd homer, a solo shot off Steele in the first. Devers also connected twice Friday against Chicago.
Casas hit a two-run shot off Adbert Alzolay in the eighth for his third homer in three games. That gave Boston an 11-0 lead before the Cubs scored five times in the final two innings.
Devers doubled leading off the fourth but was thrown out at home by left fielder Ian Happ while trying to score from second on a single.
Red Sox: RHP Jake Faria’s contract was selected from Triple-A Worcester and RHP Tayler Scott (0-0, 7.45 ERA) was designated for assignment. Faria was 3-2 with a 6.47 ERA in nine starts and 10 relief appearances for Worcester. The Cubs scored three runs off Faria in the eighth on four straight walks, an infield single and a sacrifice fly. Faria gave up two more runs in the ninth.
Cubs: C P.J. Higgins was reacquired from Arizona for cash. Chicago drafted him in the 12th round in 2015. Higgins played 83 games with the Cubs the last two seasons.
The Cubs announced they agreed to terms with their first-round draft pick, infielder Matt Shaw from the University of Maryland, and six other players.
Red Sox: LHP Richard Bleier (left shoulder inflammation) could return this week, manager Alex Cora said. Bleier is rehabbing at Triple-A. … INF Pablo Reyes (abdominal strain) is rehabbing with Double-A Portland and needs more at-bats, Cora said. … RHP John Schreiber (teres major strain), on a rehab assignment at Triple-A, needs to pitch on back-to-back days, Cora said. Schreiber could return for Boston’s series against the Mets or more likely the series against Atlanta next week.
Cubs: SS Dansby Swanson (bruised left heel) was eligible to be activated Sunday but remained on the injured list. He continued baseball activities.
Red Sox: Boston had yet to announce its starter for Monday’s series opener at Oakland. Cora said he hoped to avoid using RHP Nick Pivetta or LHP Chris Murphy on Sunday so one could pitch Monday and the other Tuesday. The A’s will start RHP Paul Blackburn (1-1, 4.86 ERA).
Cubs: LHP Drew Smyly (7-6, 4.31) is scheduled to start Monday against Washington LHP MacKenzie Gore (4-7, 4.42).