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The Red Sox continued their struggles against Cleveland this season, dropping a 9-6 decision to the Tribe on Monday night. The loss drops Boston’s record to 2-5 against Cleveland this year.
The game was a back-and-forth affair, but Cleveland scored three times in the eighth inning to break a 5-5 tie. Cabrera’s drive into the right field corner was reviewed after hitting the top part of the wall, prompting the umpiring crew to take a second look. The call was originally ruled a single, but upon review was deemed a two-run home run to give the Indians a 7-5 lead. Matt LaPorta made it 8-5 with an opposite field double to score Carlos Santana.
Sox starter John Lackey fired 6-2/3 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out five for the no-decision. Daniel Bard dropped to 1-5 on the season after surrendering a trio of runs in just 1/3 inning to garner the loss. Those runs were the first Bard had allowed since May 23.
Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each recorded multiple-hit efforts. Saltalamacchia notched his 10th home run of the year with a broken-bat, two-run blast in the sixth to tie the game at 5-5. Crawford went 2-4 with a double and home run, his seventh of the season.
Adrian Gonzalez extended his hit streak to 11 games, while Mike Aviles recorded his first base hit in a Red Sox uniform after replacing Marco Scutaro, who left in the fourth with dizziness. Every Sox batter recorded a base hit except for David Ortiz, who ended the game 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts.
The game was scoreless into the bottom of the second, when the Red Sox plated one for the early advantage. Saltalamacchia smoked a ground-ruled double into the right field corner, and advanced the third when Josh Reddick singled to center to put runners at the corners with one out. Scutaro gave Boston the 1-0 lead when his grounder snuck under the glove of the Indians’ 2B Kipnis, scoring Saltalamacchia and advancing Reddick to third. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin then got Jacoby Ellsbury to ground into a fielder’s choice before Pedroia flew out to right to end the frame.
The Tribe answered in the third, scoring one to equalize the contest. Lackey retired LaPorta and Lonnie Chisenhall for two quick outs, but surrendered a single to Ezequiel Carrera to extend the inning. Carrera advanced to second on a Reddick throwing error in right, and scored when Michael Brantley doubled to right to put the score at 1-1.
Boston countered in the bottom half of the inning, scoring twice to take a 3-1 edge. Gonzalez singled to lead off and scored on the RBI triple by Youkilis. Youkilis was thrown out at home after trying to score on an errant throw by Carrera in center for the first out. Ortiz grounded out for the second out, but Crawford homered to right for the Red Sox third run of the evening. Saltalamacchia would strike out to end the inning.
Cleveland chipped away in the fourth, scoring once to cut the deficit to 3-2. Cabrera singled to start things off, and advanced to third with one out after Santana lined a single to right. Lackey thought he escaped the inning without any damage after inducing a Kosuke Fukodome grounder to Pedroia, but Cleveland’s trade deadline acquisition beat Scutaro’s throw for the RBI force out. Fukodome was thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning.
The game remained 3-2 until the sixth, when Cleveland used back-to-back home runs to take a 5-3 lead. Kipnis reached on a one out double to right and scored when Cabrera homered to right, giving Cleveland a quick 4-3 lead. The Indians were not done however, as Hafner, Cleveland’s next batter, smacked his 20th homer of the season to give the Tribe the 5-3 lead.
Boston wasted no time tying the game, scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth to make the game 5-5. Crawford smacked a one out, opposite field double to bring Saltalamacchia to the plate. The catcher answered the bell, belting an broken bat, two-run home run to right to nod the game at fives. Tomlin retired Reddick and Aviles to end the sixth.
Both teams traded runs in the ninth to put the final margin at 9-6. Kipnis homered off of Matt Albers, while Ellsbury dropped a RBI ground-ruled double down the left field line for the Red Sox final run of the game.
Boston’s lead in the AL East shrunk to just one game following New York’s 3-2 triumph in Chicago.
The Sox return to the diamond for game two of this four game series Tuesday at 7:10, sending right-hander Josh Beckett (9-4, 2.17 ERA) to the mound, opposed by Indians’ starter David Huff (1-1, 0.71 ERA)