Tribe's runs come in bunches to top Red Sox
CLEVELAND -- Boston rookie Henry Owens had trouble avoiding the big inning, twice letting the Indians post a crooked number before his short hook in Cleveland's 8-2 series-opening victory at Progressive Field on Friday night.
Tribe righty Josh Tomlin ended his season on a high note, turning in his sixth quality start in 10 outings this season. Tomlin made just one mistake, giving up a two-run homer to David Ortiz in the fourth inning. Around that, Tomlin worked 6 1/3 innings, striking out five and walking two. Tomlin's 0.84 WHIP is the lowest of any starting pitcher with at least 60 innings thrown this season.
"When it's all said and done, his numbers are outstanding," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Tonight was more of the same."
Owens lasted just 4 1/3 innings after battling his command for much of the evening. The lanky lefty walked four and struck out four, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits to raise his season ERA to 4.57.
With the loss, the Red Sox (79-82) can't finish above .500.
"It was exciting to get on a run to get us close," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "For that, I'm very proud of them. They did a good job that we even had an opportunity to talk about .500. We're not going to reach it this year, but we're still going to go out and try to play a baseball game tomorrow that we're going to win and focus on that."
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Slamtana: With the bases loaded in the third inning, Carlos Santana broke open the scoring by continuing his second-half surge with runners in scoring position. Santana slugged an elevated Owens fastball 108 mph off the bat to center field, hitting off the wall and barely missing a grand slam. The double cleared the bases and tied Santana with Michael Brantley for the team lead in RBIs with 84. Santana later scored on a Chris Johnson single, giving the Indians a 4-0 lead.
"It seems like we've kind of said this three years in a row," Francona said. "For part of the year, everybody keeps asking me, 'What's wrong with Santana, what's wrong with Santana?' Then you look up at the end of the year and he's pushing 90 RBIs and 100 walks and 20 home runs. He gets there."
Papi belts No. 37: There was some question if Ortiz would even play in the final three games of the season, but the slugger told interim manager Torey Lovullo he wanted to be in the lineup, and he responded by smashing a two-run homer into the howling wind in right in the fourth, his 37th on the season.
"What can I say about David? He plays in some tough conditions and hits a big home run, gets us back in the game," said Lovullo. "He's got 37 [homers] and 107 [RBIs]. He wants to go out and play and let his teammates see that he's playing and grinding and getting the job done." More >
Scoring in bunches: The Tribe tacked on another handful of runs in the fifth inning, with the rally started by a Santana walk. The next batter, Yan Gomes, drove him in with a double, and consecutive hits by Johnson, Jerry Sands and Abraham Almonte plated two more runners, giving the Tribe a 7-2 lead.
Bogaerts five from 200: After a 1-for-3 performance on Friday night, shortstop Xander Bogaerts has 195 hits on the season. He will now have a stiff challenge to get to the 200 mark, needing five knocks over the last two games.
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With his next home run, Ortiz will tie Eddie Murray for 26th on the all-time list with 504.
Red Sox: For the second time in a week, lefty Craig Breslow (0-3, 4.22 ERA) draws the start for Boston in what the club is labeling "a bullpen game." Breslow made his first Major League start last week against the Orioles, firing four scoreless innings. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Indians: Corey Kluber (8-16, 3.62 ERA) will look to finish his season on a high note after struggling down the stretch. Since returning from a right hamstring injury, Kluber has gone 0-3 in three starts with a 6.59 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP.
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