Indians fall 6-5 as Perez blows save
Boston scores four runs in the bottom of the ninth to win series
BOSTON -- The Cleveland bullpen blew a late lead for the second game in a row as Chris Perez allowed four ninth inning runs as the Boston Red Sox beat the Indians, 6-5.
Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury delivered a two-run, walk-off double against sidearmer Joe Smith, sending Cleveland to their third straight loss to close out the four-game series at Fenway Park. Earlier in the ninth, Perez exited the game with the bases loaded after suffering an apparent injury.
Perez (2-1, 4.32) missed time with a right shoulder injury in Spring Training and again earlier in May. He issued a leadoff walk to Dustin Pedroia to open the inning followed by a double to rejuvenated sluggerDavid Ortiz. Both runners eventually scored on two ground outs, cutting the Indians lead to 5-4.
With the bases cleared and two outs, Perez continued to struggle, giving a walk, a single, and another walk to load the bases. After a pitch to Ellsbury, Perez bent over in pain, which drew the Cleveland training staff. He attempted a test pitch, but threw wildly into the backstop.
Perez left the game and Ellsbury doubled to deep left-center field on the first pitch Smith delivered in relief.
The loss spoiled a quality start from Indians right-hander Corey Kluber, who was in line for his fourth win of the season. Over six and two-thirds innings, he allowed just one earned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out a career-high 10 batters.
Felix Doubront pitched six innings for Boston, giving up four runs (two earned) while striking out eight. He allowed both Indians home runs.
Alex Wilson pitched the seventh, allowing one walk while striking out one. Former Indian Craig Breslow (2-0, 1.69) picked up the win after pitching the final two innings. He allowed an earned run on two hits.
The Indians lineup scored enough runs to win for the second straight game. They got on the board early in the first inning, with a two-out, two-RBI single by catcher Carlos Santana, who was caught in a run-down to end the inning.
The Tribe added two more runs in the fifth and sixth innings with solo homers by second baseman Jason Kipnisand first baseman Nick Swisher, respectively. Cleveland scored its fifth and final run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Swisher, making it 5-1.
Kipnis and Swisher each finished with two hits apiece, but the team tallied only seven hits all game.
Notes: According to the Associated Press, Chris Perez said after the game that he felt a "twinge" in his shoulder. … Former Boston and Cleveland outfielder Trot Nixon was in attendance. … Jason Kipnis' 319-foot homer was the shortest in MLB since a 316-foot homer by Ty Wigginton in 2010.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.