Danny Salazar pitched into the sixth inning and made three runs of offense from his teammates stand as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Red Sox 3-1 in the final game of the 2015 season.
The win pushed the Indians (81-80) above the .500 mark for just the third time this season. It secured a winning campaign, a thought hard to imagine after the club buried itself in the standings in the first month of the season. Despite results that failed to meet expectations the last two seasons, the Indians have now had three straight winning records and manager Terry Francona remains on the positive side of the slate for his eleventh straight season, dating back to a 65-97 finish with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2000.
It is the first time the Indians have had three consecutive winning seasons since posting winning records in eight straight years from 1994 to 2001.
Salazar allowed one run on four hits in five and one-third innings on the afternoon, striking out six batters to fall just five short of the 200 mark for the season. Five men from the bullpen combined to allow three hits and two walks over the remaining three and two-thirds innings.
The Red Sox took the lead on Salazar in the first. With two outs, Xander Bogaerts doubled to right and moved to third on a balk. David Ortiz, who entered the game 2-for-14 against Salazar, doubled to center to knock home what would prove to be the only run of the game for Boston.
Cleveland struck for a run to tie it in the second off of Boston’s Rick Porcello and did so just as the Red Sox had done – with two outs. Roberto Perez doubled to left and scored on a bloop single to center by Giovanny Urshela.
The runs in the following inning for the Tribe came gift wrapped from Porcello. Michael Martinez doubled to left and moved to third on a single from birthday boy Lonnie Chisenhall. After striking out Carlos Santana for the first out, Porcello attempted a pickoff throw to first and missed, allowing both runners to advance. A grounder from Jose Ramirez moved Chisenhall to third and he would score on a single to left from Jesus Aguilar to make it a 3-1 game. That score would remain, with Cody Allen earning his 34th save of the season.
The Indians are set to resume Major League action on Monday, April 4th, 2016, at a freshly renovated Progressive Field against the same Red Sox.
W: D. Salazar (14-10)
L: R. Porcello (9-15)
S: C. Allen (34)
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images