Two Big Blasts Power Boston Past Tribe in Papi’s Farewell; Red Sox 3, Indians 2
Bob Toth | On 15, Aug 2016
Three runs on a pair of home runs in the sixth inning spoiled an otherwise strong start from Indians starter Josh Tomlin as the Boston Red Sox defeated Cleveland 3-2 on Monday afternoon.
The two clubs squeezed the matinee into their schedules to make up for a postponed game from the first week of the season, giving David Ortiz one more taste of Cleveland. His farewell to the city at the plate was less than gracious.
Cleveland jumped out to a lead in the fourth against their former first round draft pick Drew Pomeranz. After the left-hander retired nine straight to start the ball game, Rajai Davis got the Indians on the board with a 3-2 homer to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead.
Tomlin protected his first lead of the day in the fifth inning, but could not do the same in the sixth. Dustin Pedroia, fresh off of a five-hit game on Sunday, singled to left to start the inning before a big strikeout by Xander Bogaerts. On the very next pitch, Ortiz sent a moonshot to the back of the right field seating area, turning the contest in Boston’s favor, 2-1. After Mookie Betts flied out to center, Jackie Bradley Jr. worked the count full before sending his own homer out to right to give Boston a 3-1 edge.
Pomeranz protected his lead by facing the minimum in the sixth and seventh innings, giving him five such innings on the afternoon. He ran into trouble in the eighth, when the Indians put together a late rally.
With one out, Chris Gimenez doubled off of the glove of Bradley in center field after he leapt at the wall and could not reel in the catch. After a fly out from Michael Martinez, Davis delivered his second big hit of the afternoon with a double to right to score Gimenez and make it a 3-2 game. Fernando Abad entered in relief of Pomeranz and Davis picked off third base with Jose Ramirez at bat, but the usually reliable hitter with runners in scoring position flied to left to end the threat.
After Zach McAllister pitched around trouble in the top of the ninth, the Indians threatened in the one-run game against Boston closer Craig Kimbrel. Francisco Lindor doubled to left and Mike Napoli walked. But strikeouts by Carlos Santana and pinch-hitter Jason Kipnis, followed by a pop up to second by Almonte, countered any magic that Progressive Field had in it on Monday.
The Red Sox improved to 65-52 with the win and will hit the road again for Baltimore as the club continues on its eleven-game road trip against the Orioles, Detroit Tigers, and Tampa Bay Rays. The Indians fell to 67-49 and an even .600 (35-21) at home this season. Their AL Central lead shrank to four and a half games, with the Tigers set to play later on in the evening against Kansas City.
TWO LONG BALLS TRIP UP TOMLIN
Tomlin has struggled with the home run ball for the majority of the season, surrendering a Major League-high 29 this year. Monday was no exception to that, as the two he allowed in the sixth inning proved to be the difference in the game.
It was the third straight loss for Tomlin, who pitched better than his last two outings, when he was tagged for seven runs in each game. On Monday, he allowed the three runs on seven hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out three.
POMERANZ GETS FIRST WIN AGAINST FORMER CLUB
Possibly similar to the start the Indians got from Mike Clevinger over the weekend against the club that drafted him, the Los Angeles Angels, Pomeranz (1-2, 4.59) may have amped it up to face the club that drafted him and later dealt him to Colorado.
The Red Sox left-hander earned his first win of the season for Boston and his ninth overall behind seven and two-thirds innings of work. He allowed two runs on five hits, walked a pair, and struck out six in the outing.
The Indians’ four-game winning streak came to a close with the loss to the Red Sox. They have still won five of their last seven.
NAPOLI SETS CAREER HIGH
Napoli’s double in the fourth inning extended his hitting streak to 15 games, a new career-high. His previous career-best of 14 came back in 2007. His current streak became the longest active in the Majors as Ramirez’s 18-gamer came to a close with his 0-for-4 at the plate.
PAPI’S FINAL LINE
With a single and a homer on Monday, Ortiz concluded the regular season portion of his playing career against the Indians and left his mark with a pair of RBI to give him 92 on the season. They came courtesy of his 27th homer of the year, giving him homers in all three of his final games that he played at Progressive Field this season.
In his career between the Minnesota Twins and Red Sox, Ortiz hit .277 with 31 doubles, 27 homers, and 88 RBI against the Indians. All but six of those career homers came while a member of the Red Sox.
COLON TO COLUMBUS
Following the game, the Indians announced a roster move as the club activated right-handed reliever Joseph Colon from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Columbus.
The Indians will host the Chicago White Sox the next three days.
Kluber’s first offering on Tuesday is tentatively scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.
Photo: David Maxwell/Getty Images