McCoy: After strong start, Reds fall to Red Sox in 7-1 loss

For three innings, Cincinnati Reds starter Hunter Greene was as untouchable as a masterpiece in an art museum Wednesday night in Fenway Park.

But it looked as if Greene’s doppelganger took the mound in the fourth inning. The Boston Red Sox scored four times and that was enough to hang a 7-1 defeat on the Reds.

So the teams split the abbreviated two-game series and it dropped the Reds to 2-13 against Boston during interleague play.

Using 13 fastballs clocked at 100 and 101 miles an hour and a debilitating slider, Greene struck out seven in the first three innings.

He struck out the first four Bosox and gave up just one harmless two-out double by Trevor Story in the third.

But Boston starter Garrett Whitlock, utilizing a 93 miles an hour fastball and a disappearing change-up, was even more efficient.

He needed only 43 pitches, 33 strikes, to cover the first three scoreless innings. The Reds had singles in four of the first five innings, but three times they hit into double plays — Tyler Stephenson, Albert Almora Jr. and Mike Moustakas.

Greene’s fastballs dipped to 97 and 98 miles an hour in the fourth and the Red Sox teed off. The first four batters hit safely and all four scored.

Rafael Devers doubled off the left field Green Monster and took third on a single by J.D. Martinez. Xander Bogaerts lobbed a shattered bat single to left to score Devers.

Alex Verdugo drove a two-run double to right center and with two outs Jackie Bradley Jr. singled to center to make it 4-0.

And that ended Greene’s short but positive-negative evening — 3 2/3 innings, four runs, six hits, no walks, eight strikeouts.

The Reds beat the Bosox Tuesday night, 2-1, both runs coming across of Boston throwing errors.

Another throwing error permitted the Reds to score a run in the sixth. Aristides Aquino led with a single. He stole second and continued to third on catcher Christian Vazquez’s throwing error and scored on Nick Senzel’s ground ball.

Vladimir Gutierrez, a starter all season, made his bullpen debut in the seventh and escape a quick problem. He walked Bogaerts and Verdugo doubled, putting runners on third and second with no outs.

Trevor Story grounded to the mound and when Vazquez grounded to shortstop, Kyle Farmer threw Bogaerts out at home. Bradley grounded to first and the 4-1 deficit was preserved.

After Greene left, Luis Cessa, Gutierrez and Ross Detwiler held the Bosox to no runs, one hit and one walk through the seventh.

Jeff Hoffman, though, took a walk on the wild side in the eighth and let it get out of hand.

With one out, he walked two and threw a wild pitch, forcing an intentional walk to fill the bases.

And all three scored.

He struck out Vazquez for the second out, but Jackie Bradley Jr. lined one to center. Senzel tried for a diving catch, but the ball skipped past him for a three-run triple.

So the Reds came to bat in the ninth inning trailing 7-1 and that’s the way it ended. After the sensational start, Greene ended up with the loss, dropping his record to 2-7 with a 6.18 earned run average.

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