Cleveland / Boston is always exciting, and the first game of their four game set was no exception. The Indians went up 4-1 at one point, but Boston stormed back only to come up one run short in their bid to remain 1.5 behind the Rays, a winner against Baltimore. Boston drops to 2.5 down with the loss.
The Indians scored first in the top of the second as Josh Beckett literally walked home a run. Ben Francisco doubled to left with two out. Ryan Garko and Kelly Shoppach were hit by pitches back-to-back, loading the bases, and Asdrubal Cabrera walked, scoring Francisco.
The Red Sox evened up the score in the bottom of the third. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to center with one out. After a Dustin Pedroia fly-out, David Ortiz walked, putting runners on first and second. Kevin Youkilis doubled, scoring Ellsbury, but Jason Baystruck out ending the multi-run threat and keeping the game tied at 1-1.
The Indians got to Beckett in the fifth. Asdrubal Cabrera singled to right to lead off the inning. After a Grady Sizemore ground out that moved Cabrera to second, Jamey Carroll singled home Cabrera. Carroll then pulled off a heads-up steal, swiping second on a Beckett breaking ball that went into the dirt and bounced about three feet away from catcher Jason Varitek.
The steal paid off as Shin-Soo Choo singled and Carroll motored home. Jhonny Peralta doubled Choo over to third, and once again aggressive base-running scored a run. Travis Hafner grounded out to first base, but Choo was off on contact, making the double up at home impossible. While the Tribe couldn’t score any more runs, they did take a 4-1 lead.
Bostoncut the lead by one in the bottom half of the inning on a David Ortiz homerun. The Tribe could have pitched around Ortiz with two out, but elected to go after him, and he made them pay.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Indians got help from a carom off the leg of the third base umpire, saving a run and actually resulting in a rundown between third and home, tagging out Jason Bay for the third out.
Boston crawled to within a run in the bottom of the seventh. Ellsbury started the inning off with an infield single. Pedroia singled him over to second. Ortiz gounded into a fielder’s choice, erasing Pedroia. Rafael Betancourt came on in relief of Perez and gave up a double to Youkilis, Jason Bay was given a free pass. Lowrie struck out, and Kotsay flied out, preserving the Indians one run lead.
The Indians sent Jensen Lewis to the mound to close out the ninth. Lewis had to go through the meat of the order for his twelfth save of the season. He struck out Pedroia on three pitches, and got Ortiz to line out to right on one pitch. Youkilis took Lewis’s 0-2 offering to right for a single. Bay looked at the first ball of the night from Lewis, then ripped the second pitch into the left field corner for a two-out double. Ben Francisco had a big problem coming up with the ball, but luckily Youkilis had no speed and was held at third.
Jed Lowrie went 0-2 against Lewis, then struck out to end the game, Lewis getting his twelfth save and the Indians won their seventh in a row. The Indians moved two games over .500
Tuesday pits Cliff Lee(22-2, 2.41 ERA) against Tim Wakefield(9-11, 4.18 ERA) in a 7:05 start.