Steve Pearce

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Steve Pearce (3 HRs), Red Sox overwhelm Yankees in slugfest

John Tomase
August 02, 2018 - 11:00 pm

Steve Pearce had himself a night. So did the rest of the Red Sox offense.

Sending a message to the Yankees in the first game of a showdown series at Fenway Park, the Red Sox blew the doors off their rivals in a 15-7 victory that included three homers from Pearce to lead a 19-hit attack.

Trailing 4-0 in the second, the Red Sox exploded during an eight-run fourth that started with Jackie Bradley making a Matrix-like slide around a tag at the plate when he appeared dead to rights, and was then highlighted by Pearce tomahawking a three-run homer over everything in left.

The Red Sox received offensive contributions from up and down the lineup to make a winner of Brian Johnson, the spot starter who took the hill in place of the disabled Chris Sale and then struck out 11 in five innings after surrendering a three-run homer in the first.

Leadoff man Mookie Betts went 4-for-4 with three runs. Andrew Benintendi went 3-for-6 with three RBIs. J.D. Martinez contributed three hits, including a pair of doubles. Ian Kinsler was everywhere, going 2-for-6 with a pair of RBIs and making two stellar defensive plays at second base. Eduardo Nunez added two hits, while Bradley went 1-for-4 with two runs, reaching base twice during the eight-run fourth.

But the star of this one was Pearce. Acquired in June as an antidote to the team's struggles vs. left-handed pitching, he delivered a solo shot off of CC Sabathia in the third to put the Red Sox on the board, added the three-run homer off of Jonathan Holder in the fourth, and then finally slammed a two-run homer off Luis Cessa in the sixth. He had a chance to become the first slugger in team history to hit four home runs in a game, but he walked in the eighth.

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The Red Sox acquired Kinsler to shore up their second base defense and he delivered two dazzling plays, making one leaping catch to snare a line drive, and then ranging up the middle and gunning down the speedy Gleyber Torres to end the seventh.

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