Ortiz Tees Off to Send Tribe to Third Straight Loss; Red Sox 5, Indians 2
Ryan Hohman | On 12, Jun 2014
The last time the Indians and Red Sox met, Boston arrived in Cleveland with a seven-game winning streak and was swept out of town on an Asdrubal Cabrera 12th inning walk-off homerun. Back home in Bean Town, the Red Sox entered Thursday’s game scoring one run in their last three outings. But a big swing from Big Papi got Boston back on track and redemption for the sweep in Cleveland as they defeated the Indians 5-2.
Just like Wednesday night in Kansas City, poor defense got the home team on the board first. In the second inning, Mike Napoli reached on a throwing error by Cabrera and advanced to third on Daniel Nava’s single to right field. Boston plated their first run when former Indian Grady Sizemore laced a ground rule double to right field to score Napoli. Tribe starter Josh Tomlin then walked David Ross to load the bases with nobody out. Just when it looked like the inning was going to get out of hand, Tomlin got a double play and punch out to keep the score 1-0.
Jonathan Herrera followed Ross’ walk with a grounder to first that was fielded by Carlos Santana, who fired home for the force out and then stepped on the bag just in time to catch the throw back from Yan Gomes for the double play. Tomlin struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. end the inning.
In the fifth inning, the Tribe had runners on first and second with two outs and Mike Aviles at the plate, however, Grady Sizemore got Boston starter Jon Lester out of trouble with an acrobatic catch against the wall in foul territory.
The Red Sox made it 3-0, courtesy of a David Ortiz two-out two-run homerun in the fifth inning. Bradley Jr. singled and advanced to second on a Tomlin throwing error on a pick-off attempt. Bradley Jr. then moved to third on a Brock Holt ground out to first. Pedroia followed with a ground out to third before Big Papi came to the plate and crushed a fastball over the center field wall. Napoli and Nava kept the inning going with back-to-back singles, but Napoli rounded second too hard on Nava’s single and was tagged out to end the inning.
After singling in the third, fourth, and fifth, but failing to advance a runner past second base, the Indians finally broke through and got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Michael Bourn led off the inning with a chopper to first. Napoli fielded and flipped the ball to Lester for the out, but he couldn’t handle the throw, allowing Bourn to reach safely. Michael Brantley moved Bourn to third with a double down the left field line to give the Tribe runners at second and third with one out. Next up to the plate was Jason Kipnis who smacked the first pitch he saw into right field past a diving Pedroia to score Bourn and Brantley and make it a 3-2 game. Kipnis’ two-run single extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Santana grounded out, Rayburn singled, and Swisher hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Tomlin retired the first two batters in the sixth before giving up a two-out triple to Herrera. That was the last pitch Tomlin threw. The 29-year-old righty left the game charged with two earned runs on nine hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over 5 and 2-3 innings of work. The loss drops Tomlin’s record to 4-3.
Nick Hagadone relieved Tomlin and walked Bradley Jr. on four pitches. Bradley Jr. then stole second to give Boston runners on second and third with two-outs. Holt brought everybody home with a double off the left field wall to make it 5-2.
Scott Atchinson came on in relief of Hagadone and retired Pedroia to end the sixth inning.
Mike Aviles reached with a one-out single in the seventh. Bourn followed with a blast to center, but Bradley Jr. made a great one-handed grab against the wall and fired the ball into the infield to double up Aviles who had rounded second.
Lester exited the game with two outs in the eighth inning. The southpaw kept Tribe batters in check with exception for a two-run sixth, scattering eights hits, walking one and striking out four to get the win and improve to 7-7 on the season.
Nick Swisher DH’d, batted seventh, and went 0-4 in his first game in the lineup since going on the disabled list on May 27 with a hyper-extended knee.
Carlos Carrasco finished mound duties for the Tribe, pitching a scoreless seventh and eighth before Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara came on and closed the door on the Indians. Uehara picked up his 14th save.
Cleveland owns an 11-11 record in series openers (7-3 at home, 4-8 on the road) and have lost seven of their last eight in Boston.
Game two of this four-game set is scheduled for Friday at 7:10pm from Fenway Park. Justin Masterson (4-4, 4.61) will take the mound for the Tribe, while Boston will counter with righty John Lackey (7-4, 3.18). Masterson will be looking to earn wins in 3 consecutive starts for the first time since 7/21-8/1, 2013.
Photo: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images