Red Sox beat up Tribe 6-3, sweep three game series
Lester sends Indians to their fourth straight loss
CLEVELAND, OH - Boston swept the field clean from any Tribe offense for the third straight game on Thursday, as the Red Sox brought out their brooms defeating the Indians 6-3 to complete the series sweep.
Red Sox starter Jon Lester (3-0, 1.73 ERA) blanked the Indians for seven strong innings, as the left-hander surrendered just two runs on four hits, sending Cleveland to their fourth straight loss.
“When you’re not doing much on the scoreboard like we were, you need a big two out hit,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “And we never got that tonight.”
The Tribe offense crawled their way to try and get back into the ballgame, but failed to put at least four runs on the scoreboard for the fourth straight game. Cleveland squeezed their way to just three runs on six hits, as the team is now 2-7 on the year when scoring three runs or less.
Like his teammate Justin Masterson the previous night, starter Zach McAllister gave his team a chance to win, yielding just three runs on six hits through five innings. Boston hitters made the big right-hander work though, as he threw 60 pitches through the first three innings.
“I thought times I was good and other times I was not so good,” McAllister said.
McAllister (1-2, 3.12 ERA) did his best keeping the game close, working out of jams and striking out seven, but was ultimately tagged for his second loss.
“He still doesn’t have a ton of major league starts under his belt,” Francona said of his starter. “He competes and didn’t back down and will only get better.”
Boston not only never trailed in the ballgame, but never trailed the Tribe once in the series. The Red Sox jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single by outfielder Daniel Nava and never looked back.
For the Indians, their only offense for the first seven innings came on two RBI groundouts, one by third baseman Mike Aviles in the second inning and the other by centerfielder Drew Stubbs in the fifth. It was the top half of the seventh inning though that proved to be the killer for the Tribe on Thursday.
With the Red Sox up 3-2, Francona called on reliever Bryan Shaw to keep the game within one run. That would not happen as the wheels fell off for Cleveland in what would be a sloppy seventh inning.
Filling in for injured second baseman Jason Kipnis, Cord Phelps botched what would be a critical error on a groundball by outfielder Shane Victorino, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. After Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia flied out, Boston rallied for three runs in the inning on RBI singles by Mike Napoli and Mike Carp.
For the Indians, it was already their 12th error through 14 games this season. It was Phelps’ sixth error with the Tribe in 23 career games at second base.
The Tribe would get one more shot to dig into the Red Sox 6-2 lead in the bottom half of the eighth inning. An RBI double by catcher Carlos Santana cut the deficit to three and put runners on second and third with two outs for Nick Swisher. With the tying run at the plate, the Tribe first baseman swung through on an off speed pitch by Boston reliever Koji Uehara to end the late threat.
Cleveland finished the night 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, leaving four left on base.
Despite the four game skid and losing five of their last seven, designated hitter Mark Reynolds remains optimistic as there is plenty of baseball to play this season.
“There’s still a lot of baseball left,” Reynolds said. “A five game winning streak takes care of everything we’ve been through this home stand. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re just going to keep playing ball and try to win some games on the road.”
Cleveland (5-9) will try and do just that as the team hits the road to start a 10-game road trip on Friday against the Houston Astros. Brett Myers (0-2, 8.82 ERA) will take the ball for the Wahoos in the first game of the three-game series against Astros righty Lucas Harrell (0-2, 5.63 ERA). Kipnis will also make his return to the Tribe lineup on Friday.
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