Sox Slug Carrasco, Ride Long Balls to Victory; Red Sox 10, Indians 4
Bob Toth | On 22, Aug 2018
An early Cleveland lead would not stand in the way for Boston on Wednesday, as the Red Sox would knock out Carlos Carrasco in the fourth and used three long balls to defeat the Indians by a 10-4 final to end their season-high tying three-game losing skid.
It was a rough night for the Indians starter Carrasco, who has been nearly unbeatable over the course of the last month and a half since rejoining the team after a stint on the disabled list. He would only last three and two-thirds innings on the night as he continued to struggle at Fenway Park in his career.
The Indians jumped out to an early lead against young left-hander Brian Johnson. The return of an old friend was at the center of the fun. Francisco Lindor led off the game with a ground rule double to the right field corner. Two outs in the air followed before Edwin Encarnacion, on the third pitch of his first at bat off of the disabled list, launched a homer over the Green Monster to put the Indians up by a two-spot.
Carrasco’s defense hurt him in the home half of the frame as the Red Sox got a run back. With one down, Andrew Benintendi grounded to Erik Gonzalez at second, but he could not field the ball cleanly. Benintendi moved up to second on a groundout and to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a single to right by J.D. Martinez, sticking Carrasco with an unearned run.
Both teams stranded base runners in the third and the Indians did the same in the fourth, wasting two men on with only one out. The Red Sox took advantage of that missed opportunity in the bottom of the inning as they moved out in front for good. After a strikeout of Martinez by Carrasco to start the inning, Xander Bogaerts knotted the game at two with a shot of his own to left-center over the Monster. The hits continued as Ian Kinsler and Brock Holt both singled to put runners on the corners and Blake Swihart put the Red Sox up, 3-2, with his single to left-center. Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out swinging for the second out, but Mookie Betts walked to load the bases. Benintendi provided the backbreaker, knocking Carrasco out with a three-run double to left to rip the game open at 6-2. Oliver Perez came on and worked out of the jam.
Cleveland scratched across a couple more runs in the fifth to keep the game close. Lindor walked to lead off, but the starter Johnson was lifted after retiring Michael Brantley on a line out. Heath Hembree entered from the bullpen and retired Jose Ramirez on a fly ball to center, but Encarnacion made it a 6-4 game with his second homer of the night and 27th of the year.
That would be as close as the Indians could make it. Neil Ramirez and Dan Otero allowed two runs in the sixth, as Mitch Moreland’s two-out, two-run home run scored Bradley, who led off the inning against Ramirez with a double. Bogaerts made it a five-run lead with his second homer of the game, going the opposite way to right-center off of Otero in the seventh. Martinez added one more run of insurance in the bottom of the eighth against Cody Allen, as his two-out single scored Bradley after his leadoff single that frame.
The Red Sox moved to 89-39 on the year and ended their three-game losing skid while picking up a game on the New York Yankees, who now trail Boston by nine full games. The Indians fell to 73-53 with the loss, but maintained a 13-game lead over the Minnesota Twins, who lost earlier in the day.
Johnson did not factor in the decision for the Red Sox as he lasted just four and one-third innings after throwing 82 pitches. He gave up three runs on five hits, walking one and striking out three. Brandon Workman, the third man out of the bullpen, worked a scoreless inning before Matt Barnes did the same with a perfect inning, earning his fifth win of the year when the score turned in the Red Sox’s favor for good.
Carrasco (15-7, 3.55) started the night out okay, but the second trip through the order started problems for the right-hander. He was charged with six runs (five earned) on eight hits in three and two-thirds innings with a walk and six strikeouts. He dropped to 1-3 lifetime against Boston in eight games with a 7.47 ERA and a 1.88 WHIP and 0-2 in five games at Fenway Park with an 8.15 ERA and a 2.38 WHIP.
The Indians will go for a rare series win against the Red Sox in Boston this season in the finale on Thursday afternoon. Left-hander David Price (13-6, 3.69 ERA) will bring in strong career numbers against the Indians in his start, boasting a 10-2 record in 14 starts against them with a 2.24 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. Right-hander Adam Plutko (4-3, 4.62) will make his second start since rejoining the rotation for the injured Trevor Bauer. He allowed three runs on three hits over seven innings in a loss his last time out against Baltimore.
Game time from Boston is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.
Photo: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images