Cleveland jumps on Boston, ride six-run sixth to 12-3 win
Team rebounds well after two losses to Tigers
BOSTON – After Wednesday night’s rain-soaked finale to a short series with the Detroit Tigers, some timely hits and an explosive sixth inning lifted the Cleveland Indians over the Boston Red Sox with a 12-3 series premiere.
Right-hander Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.89) received the start as the team hoped to pick up the pieces after Wednesday’s long-winded loss. McAllister looked to remain sharp after his previous outing, in which he tossed 7.1 innings and allowed just two runs on six hits against the Seattle Mariners.
Righty Ryan Dempster (2-4, 4.69) took the bump for Boston after a win over the Minnesota Twins during his last start.
The offense carried over into the third inning as shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera hit a one-out single. Left fielder Michael Brantley and first baseman Carlos Santana drew a pair of back-to-back walks before designated hitter Mark Reynolds unleashed a single deep to center to score Cabrera and Brantley. Catcher Yan Gomes followed with another walk and third baseman Mike Aviles tapped into a fielder’s choice that left Gomes out at second and allowed Santana to score, giving the Indians the 4-0 lead.
Boston’s rebuttal came in their half of the third from designated hitter David Ortiz. With two on, Big Papi took McAllister deep to right, scoring center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who reached on a bunt single, and right fielder Daniel Nava, who drew a walk.
Cleveland tacked on one more in the fourth when center fielder Michael Bourn doubled deep to left and scored on a single by Cabrera, advancing the Indians to the 5-1 edge.
Bourn continued to rake in the fifth with a two-out single that scored Aviles, who reached base on an infield single.
The Indians offense unloaded in the sixth inning for six runs, producing a nightmarish outing for reliever Clayton Mortensen, who entered the game to replace Dempster in the fourth, sealing Dempster’s line at three innings pitched, surrendering four runs on four walks and four strikeouts.
Cabrera started the rally with a lead-off walk and Brantley followed with a single to center. Santana drew another walk to load the bases and Reynolds came through again with a single to score Cabrera. Gomes doubled to left to plate Brantley and Santana, and not to be outdone, Stubbs tripled to deep center to empty the bags. The final run of the inning crossed the dish as Bourn singled for his third hit of the day, giving the Indians the 12-3 lead.
Meanwhile, McAllister lasted through the fifth inning before he was replaced with Cody Allen, ending McAllister’s line at five innings pitched, yielding a trio of runs on three walks while fanning five.
Allen tossed a scoreless sixth inning as he struck out two before giving way to lefty Scott Barnes, who remained in the game for three innings through the ninth, as he allowed a pair of hits and struck out four to preserve Cleveland with the 12-3 win.
Next, the Indians turn to former Red Sox reliever Justin Masterson (7-2, 2.83) to counter Boston’s John Lackey (2-4, 3.31). Masterson is coming off a stunning start against Seattle, where he shut out the Mariners through seven innings and allowed just three hits and two walks while he struck out 11. Masterson was named the American League Pitcher of the Week for the week of May 13-19 and has not allowed a run through his last 19 innings of work.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.