Masataka Yoshida hit a grand slam and a two-run triple, powering Kutter Crawford and the Boston Red Sox to an 11-5 rout of the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
Rafael Devers and pinch hitter Triston Casas also homered for the Red Sox, who have won seven of eight. Crawford allowed one hit in six scoreless innings.
Yoshida hit the second grand slam of his rookie season in Boston’s fifth of five runs against All-Star lefty Justin Steele. Yoshida hit his 11th home run in a 2-0 run after the Red Sox had four straight hits, extending his lead to 6-0. Rob Refsnyder had an RBI single.
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«It’s like a video game,» Crawford said of Yoshida. «He’s unbelievable. He’s a great hitter, a great teammate and helps the team in so many 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 left-handed Red Sox hitter since Ted Williams in 1940.
«Any time 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 battling mechanical problems for the first three innings.
«It definitely helps when the offense gives you an advantage like that,» Crawford said. «It takes a lot of weight off your shoulders. At that point, my whole job is trying to throw strikes. Being able to get past that starting half and still compete and not give up in certain situations is very rewarding.»
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Steele (9-3) allowed six runs and 10 hits in six innings after pitching one scoreless inning in Tuesday’s All-Star break.
«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 on my four-seamer. The pitch to Devers that hit, it was a pretty well executed slider low and far. He just put a very good swing.»
Devers hit his 23rd home run, a solo shot off Steele in the first. Devers also connected twice on Friday against Chicago.
Casas hit a two-run home run off Adbert Alzolay in the eighth for his third home run in three games. That gave Boston an 11-0 lead before the Cubs scored five times in the final two innings.
Devers doubled early in the quarter but was tagged out at home by left fielder Ian Happ while trying to score from second on a single.
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Red Sox: RHP contract Jake Faria was selected from Triple-A Worcester and RHP Tayler Scott (0-0, 7.45 ERA) was designated for assignment. Faria went 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 allowed two more runs in the ninth.
Cubs: C PJ Higgins was reacquired from Arizona for cash. Chicago drafted him in the 12th round in 2015. Higgins played 83 games with the Cubs over the past two seasons.
The Cubs announced they have agreed to terms with their first-round pick, University of Maryland infielder Matt Shaw 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 (major teres strain), on a rehab assignment at Triple-A, needs to pitch on consecutive 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 disabled list. He continued baseball activities.
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Red Sox: Boston had yet to announce its starter for Monday’s series opener in 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).