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Xander Bogaerts homers to help Boston Red Sox salvage split with Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians' lone run was from a solo homer by José Ramírez in the fourth inning.

BOSTON — Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, and the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-2 on Thursday night for just their fifth win in 20 games.

Guardians starter Triston McKenzie, who had allowed one run total in four previous July starts, took a one-hit shutout into the sixth before putting two on with one out for Bogaerts. The Red Sox shortstop hit an 0-2 slider out to center field to turn a one-run deficit into a 3-1 lead.

Boston scored another off McKenzie, who hadn’t allowed an extra-base hit all month, when Franchy Cordero led off the seventh with a double and scored on Bobby Dalbec’s hard line drive off the Green Monster.

In all, McKenzie (7-7) allowed six hits and walked one in seven innings in his first loss since June 27. He was 3-0 with a sparkling 0.34 ERA over his previous four starts.

Jake Diekman (2-0) retired all four batters he faced, striking out two in relief of Boston starter Kutter Crawford. His only mistake was a solo homer by José Ramírez in the fourth that sailed high over the top of the Pesky Pole.

The ball curved far to the right of the foul pole and Red Sox manager Alex Cora challenged whether it was fair, but replays gave no evidence that could say either way.

Garrett Whitlock pitched two innings for his third save.

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