Masataka Yoshida Hits a Grand Slam and Drives in 6 as the Red Sox Rout the Cubs 11-5 behind Crawford

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Boston Red Sox’s Masataka Yoshida, second from right, of Japan, celebrates with Christian Arroyo, left, Justin Turner, second from left, and Rob Refsnyder after hitting a grand slam during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Sunday, July 16, 2023.

CHICAGO (AP) — Masataka Yoshida hit a grand slam and a two-run triple, powering Kutter Crawford and the Boston Red Sox to an 11-5 blowout over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Rafael Devers and pinch-hitter Triston Casas also homered for the surging Red Sox, who have won seven of eight. Crawford allowed one hit in six shutout innings.

Yoshida launched the second grand slam of his rookie season in Boston’s five-run fifth against All-Star lefty Justin Steele. Yoshida connected for his 11th homer on a 2-0 count after the Red Sox put together four straight hits, extending their lead to 6-0. Rob Refsnyder had an RBI single.

“It’s kind of like a video game,” Crawford said of Yoshida. “He’s unbelievable. He’s a great hitter, a great teammate and helping the team in a lot of 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 Red Sox left-handed hitter since Ted Williams in 1940.

“Whenever I can hit, I want to hit — a lot,” Yoshida said through a translator.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Boston Red Sox’s Masataka Yoshida, of Japan, hits a grand slam during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Chicago, Sunday, July 16, 2023.

Crawford (4-4) struck out nine and walked four. He said he was fighting mechanical issues during the first three innings.

“It definitely helps when the offense gives you a lead like that,” Crawford said. “It takes a lot of weight off your shoulders. At that point, all my job to do is to try to throw strikes. Being able to grind through that beginning half and still competing and not giving in in certain situations is very rewarding.”

Steele (9-3) allowed six runs and 10 hits over six innings after tossing a scoreless inning at Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

“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 with my four-seam. The pitch to Devers that he hit out, that was a pretty well-executed slider low and away. He just put a really good swing on it.”

Devers hit his 23rd homer, a solo shot off Steele in the first. Devers also connected twice Friday against Chicago.

Casas hit a two-run shot off Adbert Alzolay in the eighth for his third homer in three games. That gave Boston an 11-0 lead before the Cubs scored five times in the final two innings.

Devers doubled leading off the fourth but was thrown out at home by left fielder Ian Happ while trying to score from second on a single.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
Chicago Cubs’ Seiya Suzuki, of Japan, reacts after he flied out to Boston Red Sox right fielder Adam Duvall during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Sunday, July 16, 2023.