BOSTON (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies’ rookie right-hander Alec Asher may have been too caught up in the excitement of pitching in Fenway Park.
Making his second major league start, Asher couldn’t get out of Boston’s big fourth inning as the Boston Red Sox rolled to a 9-2 win over the Phillies on Saturday.
The 23-year-old gave up seven runs on eight hits and was charged with two balks in 3 2-3 innings.
“I don’t know if the balks affected him or not,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “That’s an indication that he’s probably over-focused. Let’s face it: Fenway Park is a special place. To make your second major league start here, there’s got to be something to that.”
David Ortiz hit his 496th career home run, reaching 30 in a season for a team-record ninth time during Boston’s game-breaking inning that chased Asher (0-2).
Asher admitted he was probably overexcited for his Fenway debut.
“Yeah, maybe I was a little bit,” he said. “This is a neat park, and still only being my second start, there were maybe still a little emotions. But just try and work past it the best you can.”
The 39-year-old Ortiz surpassed Hall of Famer Ted Williams’ eight 30-homer seasons with the Red Sox. Big Papi set the mark with a drive that hooked around the Pesky Pole, capping an eight-run fourth inning.
Xander Bogaerts hit a three-run double during Boston’s big burst, scoring himself on the play after an error.
The Red Sox beat the Phillies for the second straight day, capturing the three-game series. They’re 11-1-2 in their last 14 series against Philadelphia.
Carlos Ruiz had a two-run single for the Phillies, who lost for the ninth time in 12 games.
Wade Miley (11-10) allowed five hits in posting his first career complete game. He retired the first 12 batters in his 130th career start.
“That’s the best I’ve seen him,” Mackanin said.
Jackie Bradley Jr. added a two-run double in Boston’s big fourth. Bogaerts finished with four RBIs.
Blake Swihart’s RBI single pushed Boston ahead 1-0 in the fourth, and then Bradley and Bogaerts hit their doubles. Bogaerts’ hit turned into a Little League home run, as he advanced to third on a throw home and then scored when the ball bounced away, diving in and shifting hands to touch the plate before catcher Ruiz’s tag. Second baseman Cesar Hernandez was charged with an error.
Ortiz homered off reliever Jerome Williams, prompting three white numbers with red trim — attached to the stanchion on a light tower above the Green Monster — to be updated in his countdown for 500.
Phillies: Mackanin said 3B Maikel Franco (fractured left wrist) is likely to be shut down for the rest of the season.
Red Sox: Boston placed Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day DL with a sore right shoulder. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Ramirez will go through strengthening exercises and thinks he’ll play again this season. … 3B Pablo Sandoval missed his second straight game with back tightness.
NOT TWO GOOD
Asher and Cole Hamels are the only two Phillies in the last 20 years to have two balks in a game. Hamels did it April 20, 2012.
BAD STARTING NUMBERS
Phillies’ starters fell to 16-39 with a 6.23 ERA. Even worse, they’re 3-8 with an 8.06 ERA in their last 15 starts.
Phillies: RHP Jerad Eickhoff (1-2) is slated to pitch the series finale Sunday. It’ll be his fourth big league start.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (8-5) hopes to pick up his third win in four starts.
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