Yelich, Woodruff lead Brewers to 4-1 win over Red Sox

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BOSTON — Christian Yelich drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the seventh inning, Brandon Woodruff struck out nine and the Milwaukee Brewers returned to Boston for the first time in eight years and beat the Red Sox 4-1 on Friday night.

Andrew McCutchen had a run-scoring fielder’s choice and Tyrone Taylor added a sacrifice fly in the ninth. The Brewers improved to 6-1 since the All-Star break and won in their first game at Fenway Park since completing a three-game interleague sweep in April 2014.

The game was scoreless until the sixth when the Brewers finally got to rookie Brayan Bello (0-3) in an extended relief outing he was initially set to start. Boston manager Alex Cora made a game-day shuffle in the rotation by bumping Bello, who struggled through his first three career starts, to the bullpen and starting lefty Austin Davis instead.

Davis gave Boston two solid innings, then Bello managed to get himself out of a couple of jams over a three-inning stretch until the Brewers finally broke through in the sixth and seventh.

Yelich led off the sixth with a double and scored on McCutcheon’s fielder’s choice for the game’s first run, then the Brewers took a 2-1 lead in the seventh after Tyrone Taylor lined a two-out triple to Fenway Park’s dreaded triangle in center field. Ryan Brasier came out of the bullpen to face Yelich, who drove the first pitch he saw for a single to left. The run was charged to Bello, who went 4 1/3 innings and allowed two runs and four hits. He walked three, one intentionally, and struck out four.

Boston threatened in the eighth with two men on and one out, but Devin Williams got Bogaerts swinging one night after he blasted a three-run homer late in a 4-2 win over Cleveland.

Woodruff (9-3) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run and four hits and two walks. He retired 11 straight batters from the third, when he struck out the side, until the sixth, when Christian Vazquez lined a two-out double to center. Verdugo followed with a double to left just out of Yelich’s reach at the base of the Green Monster to tie the score 1-all.

Brad Boxberger replaced Woodruff with one out in the seventh after Boston got two on with one out. Franchy Cordero hit a one-out single and Bobby Dalbec drew a walk. Boxberger got Jackie Bradley Jr. swinging, then Yolmer Sanchez hit a soft pop-out to short.

Josh Hader struck out three in the ninth to pick up his 29th save.

The Red Sox are just 2-5 on current 10-game homestand – their longest of the season – and 4-9 in the last 13 at Fenway. They are 3-12 in their last 15 overall.

NOW PITCHING

Bello started by hitting Tyrone Taylor with a 3-2 pitch, then got Yelich swinging and picked up two more strikeouts in the fourth. He walked back-to-back batters with one out in the fifth, but got out of the jam when he got Tyrone Taylor to ground into a double play.

WELCOME BACK

Hunter Renfroe, who drove in 96 runs for the Red Sox last season, got a short but warm welcome in his return to Boston.

BACK IN RED

The Red Sox ditched their alternate yellow jerseys after donning them for four straight games in a 2-2 split against Cleveland. Boston is 7-2 this season in yellow but went with red jerseys Friday night instead of their traditional all-white home uniforms.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Trevor Story was scheduled to see a hand specialist Friday for soreness he’s still feeling more than two weeks after getting hit on the right wrist with a pitch. Cora said Story felt his recovery wasn’t progressing as quickly as he hoped. “He still feels it when he hits. He doesn’t feel it when he throws,” Cora said. … LHP Rich Hill (sprained left knee) will be activated next week when the Red Sox visit Houston in a three-game series starting Monday, Cora said. Hill made a rehab start with Double-A Portland on Thursday, striking out five and allowing one run in three innings. … Signed SS Jose Peraza to a minor-league deal. Peraza played 34 games for Boston in 2020.

UP NEXT

LHP Eric Lauer (6-3, 3.84 ERA) of the Brewers faces Boston RHP Nick Pivetta (8-7, 4.34) Saturday in the second of the three-game series.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.