By Craig Gifford
Jacoby Ellsbury is fast becoming a thorn in the Indians side.
On Tuesday night, Ellsbury delivered in the ninth inning with a game-winning single for the Red Sox. On Wednesday night, he again broke the hearts of the Tribe faithful, hammering a solo home run in the final frame. The first long ball allowed all season by reliever Joe Smith led to a Boston 4-3 victory Wednesday evening at Fenway Park. Worse, it dropped the Indians to .500 (54-54) and four game behind the Detroit Tigers, who again defeated the Texas Rangers.
The game seemed destined for extra innings as Smith got the first two batters he faced to ground out. Ellsbury was in a 0-1 hole when he got a pitch to drive over the center field wall.
Despite the loss, the game was not void of highlights for the visiting Indians. Rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis hit a home run for a fourth straight game. In the majors for only a couple weeks, Kipnis is already cementing himself as the keeper he was expected to be.
Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco also showed a little moxie. A game removed from his blowup against Kansas City, in which he played head hunter, Carrasco tossed seven solid innings against one of the best offenses in baseball. He scattered nine hits, striking out five and walking three.
Carrasco got in trouble early, allowing two first inning runs to the Sox. Cleveland erased the early deficity with two in the fourth. However, the one blemish for Carrasco came in the bottom of the frame when he allowed Boston to reclaim momentum and the lead with talley of its own.
Cleveland did tie the game in the seventh when Ezequiel Carrera delivered a run-scoring double. The rookie centerfield has been a pleasant surprise at the plate, now with five RBI and a .291 batting average. That was the end of the good times, however, as the Indians never could get a lead in the game.
The Tribe, once fifteen games over .500 will attempt to avoid falling below even when they close their series in Boston this evening. Cleveland will send phenom Justin Masterson to the mound to face Red Sox Erik Bedard. Game time is set for 7:10 p.m.