Price is Right as Cleveland Bats Cold; Red Sox 6, Indians 2
Bob Toth | On 06, Apr 2016
Baseball is back in Cleveland, but neither the weather nor Boston’s David Price were very cooperative as the Red Sox played the spoiler in a 6-2 defeat for the Indians in their rescheduled Home Opener on Tuesday afternoon.
The new Boston ace mowed through the Cleveland lineup, striking out ten batters over six innings. He started fast, striking out each of the first two batters of the game and striking out two each in the first four innings, including a stretch of four straight. A brief moment of wildness leading off the second inning was squandered by the Indians after drawing back-to-back walks to start the frame, only to strand runners on the corners to end it.
The Red Sox struck for their first runs of the season in the third. Indians starter and ace Corey Kluber had avoided damage in the second after a pair of two-out singles, but a leadoff single by Jackie Bradley Jr. was followed by a solo homer to the bleachers in left center by Mookie Betts to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.
Cleveland tied it up in the fourth after Francisco Lindor got the club’s first hit of the season to lead off. A one-out single by Carlos Santana moved Lindor into scoring position and he would score on a single to center by Yan Gomes to cut the Sox lead in half. Eight pitches later, Marlon Byrd lifted a fly to left that was deep enough to plate Santana with the tying run.
Even though it was the start of a new season, the results were similar for Tribe starter Kluber, who was offered just those two runs of support in a tough matchup against Price. Kluber pitched into the sixth, when the Red Sox struck for the decisive runs of the game. Three straight singles to start the inning from Hanley Ramirez, Travis Shaw, and Brock Holt pushed in the go-ahead run. After a fielder’s choice left runners on the corners with one out, a wild pitch from Kluber allowed the Cleveland native Shaw to score the fourth run. After a walk to conclude the at bat, Kluber exited for Jeff Manship, who got Betts to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Kluber (0-1) pitched five and two-thirds innings and allowed four runs on nine hits. The lack of run support, while an unwelcomed sight after it was a frequent occurrence in Kluber starts last season, could be expected with Price on the mound.
Price (1-0) left after six. He allowed two runs on five hits, walked two, and had the ten strikeouts, including at least one in each inning. Three more followed him to the mound; each threw a hitless inning of relief, with Junichi Tazawa striking out two, Koji Uehara one, and new closer Craig Kimbrel two with a walk in a non-save situation.
Tuesday’s win was the tenth of Price’s career against the Indians against two losses in 14 starts.
Tuesday’s game was the first game back in the dugout as manager for Red Sox skipper and former Indians player and staff member John Farrell, who left the Boston team during last season after being diagnosed with cancer.
WANT TO RECONSIDER THAT RETIREMENT TOUR?
David Ortiz homered in the ninth, the 504th blast of his career. The two-run shot came off of Indians’ new reliever Trevor Bauer in his first appearance out of the bullpen. Big Papi’s power display tied him with former Indian and Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for 26th place on the all-time home run list.
It was a tumultuous effort from Bauer, who made his first appearance of the season out of the bullpen in the ninth. He got ahead of Dustin Pedroia with two strikes to start the inning, only to throw four straight balls to put him on base. He struck out Xander Bogaerts on four pitches before the 2-2 homer by Ortiz to right. After a first pitch single by Ramirez, he struck out Shaw on three pitches and got a 3-1 liner from Holt.
The five new faces in the Tribe’s Opening Day lineup (Rajai Davis, Mike Napoli, Byrd, Juan Uribe, Collin Cowgill) had a rough go against Price and the Red Sox bullpen. The group combined to go 1-for-15 with 12 strikeouts. Davis and Napoli had three each. Rookie Tyler Naquin, who made his Major League debut as a defensive replacement to begin the eighth, struck out in his only at bat.
NOT SO FUN FACT
Game time temperature in Cleveland at first pitch was 34. It was the coldest opener on record in Indians history.
WHO’S GOT NEXT
First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PM ET.
Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak