Sox Sweep Tribe to End Homestand; Red Sox 6, Indians 3
Christian Petrila | On 18, Apr 2013
The Boston Red Sox completed their three-game sweep of the Indians with their second 6-3 victory in as many nights.
For the third time in as many games, the Red Sox struck first in the second inning. After a Mike Napoli triple that simply kept carrying, Daniel Nava drove him in with a single to right field. The next two plays were for Mike Aviles, as Jonny Gomes grounded into a fielder’s choice and Jarrod Saltalamacchia popped out. Zach McAllister got out of the inning by striking out Stephen Drew.
The Indians answered right back in the bottom of the frame. It was a textbook display of, “get him on, get him over and get him in.” The frame began with Mark Reynolds doubling down the left field line. Reynolds was awarded second base thanks to fan interference despite not hustling out of the box, which led to a brief discussion between Boston manager John Farrell and home plate umpire Mike Winters. The next batter was Ryan Raburn, who moved Reynolds to third with a sacrifice fly to right and Aviles drove him in with an RBI groundout. Cord Phelps grounded out to end the inning.
Boston took advantage of a shrinking strike zone in the top of the fourth inning. McAllister made quick work of the first two batters, as he struck out both Nava and Gomes. While facing Saltalamacchia, McAllister had a 2-2 count when he threw a breaking ball that appeared to catch the outside part of the plate. It was called a ball, however, and Saltalamacchia connected on the 3-2 pitch and ripped it into the visitors’ bullpen to give the Sox a 2-1 lead. McAllister got Drew to ground out to limit the damage.
The Red Sox added a third run in the fifth. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled with one out and moved to third on a Shane Victorino single. Dustin Pedroia drove him in with a single to right field. McAllister would strike out Mike Napoli, after which he intentionally walked Nava to load the bases with two outs. The inning ended when Gomes grounded out to first.
That would be all for McAllister (1-2), who went five innings while allowing three runs on seven hits. He also walked three and struck out seven despite what seemed to be a shrinking strike zone.
The Indians got the run back in the bottom of the frame once again. Aviles hit a leadoff double which he thought was a home run off the bat and nearly got thrown out at second. Phelps moved him to third on a groundout, and Drew Stubbs brought him in with a groundout of his own. A Michael Brantley strikeout prevented the Indians from getting any more runs.
“When you’re not on the scoreboard with regularity, you need a big two-out hit and we never got that,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
In the seventh, Boston added to its tally. With Nick Hagadone pitching, Ellsbury led off with a single. Hagadone was relieved by Bryan Shaw, who faced Victorino. The Red Sox right fielder reached safely on an error by Cord Phelps. After a Napoli RBI single to right, the Red Sox made good use of their extra out as Nava hit a sacrifice fly to center. Mike Carp followed with an RBI single to right as Napoli slid home just ahead of the tag. Shaw got Saltalamacchia swinging to retire the side, but the damage was done. Boston was ahead 6-2.
Jon Lester (3-0) was terrific for the Red Sox, as he went seven innings while allowing two runs on four hits. He also struck out five and walked just one.
The Indians nipped at the lead in the eighth against the Red Sox bullpen. With Andrew Miller pitching, Phelps struck out looking to begin the frame. After Stubbs drew a walk, Brantley got his first hit of the game with a single to left. Asdrubal Cabrera grounded into a fielder’s choice at third, which was the end of the night for Miller. The Red Sox brought in Koji Uehara, and Carlos Santana greeted him by ripping a double off the right field wall to score Brantley. Cabrera was held at third, but wasn’t able to score as Nick Swisher struck out looking to end the inning.
Andrew Bailey came in to close the game for the Red Sox, who improve to 11-4. The Indians dropped their fourth in a row to drop to 5-9.
“They did pretty much what they wanted to with us this series,” Francona said.
Lester got the win for Boston while McAllister got saddled with the loss.
Next up for the Indians is a three-game set in Houston against the Astros. The first game is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. Friday as Brett Myers (0-2, 8.82 ERA) is slated to take on Lucas Harrell (0-2, 5.63 ERA).
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images