Red Sox drop third straight after 5-3 loss to Tribe

840849.jpg

Red Sox drop third straight after 5-3 loss to Tribe

CLEVELAND Bobby Valentine said before Thursdays game that his Red Sox club was going to go on a run because theyre due for some good luck.

Looks like theyll be waiting for another day for their balance to come due as they once again fell just short in a 5-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Its Bostons third loss in a row and drops them three games under .500 on the season.

Felix Doubront, Bostons most consistent starter all season, appeared to wear down in the fifth in his second straight disappointing start. Doubront went just 4.1 innings giving up four runs and seven hits while walking two and striking out four.

Meanwhile the Sox looked like the keystone kops running the bases in the final innings attempting to eke out a single run.

Things didnt start all that groovy for the Sox early when Jason Donald served as a last minute lineup replacement in the leadoff spot, and kicked the game off with a solo blast to right field.

Doubront wiggled his way out of a two-out jam to end the first inning, and then cruised through the next five while waiting for the Sox offense to get things going.

That finally happened in the fourth inning when the red-hot Dustin Pedroia led off with a single, and Adrian Gonzalez launched a 395 foot bomb into the right field stands to give the Sox a one-run advantage.

For those scoring at home thats six home runs and 29 RBI for Gonzalez since the Major League All-Star break. The Sox tacked another run on an RBI double from Pedroia serving as the designated hitter for the first time in his career in his 14th straight game played -- in the top of the fifth. They needed it when Doubront appeared to tire in the fifth inning and got knocked out of the game after a pair of walks got the rookie lefty into a bases loaded jam.

Run-scoring hits from Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana tied things up, and a Michael Brantley sacrifice fly off reliever Andrew Miller pushed the Tribe to a 4-3 lead over the Sox. Ubaldo Jimenez had one of his best starts of the year for Cleveland as he sailed through six innings of work and fanned a season-high 10 Sox batters while outpitching Doubront.

The Sox had a fine situation to potentially tie things up when Pedro Ciriaco led off the seventh inning with a double to right field, but careless base-running led to Ciriaco and Carl Crawford getting gunned down in a rally crushing double play.

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 7, White Sox 3

red-sox-mlb.jpg

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 7, White Sox 3

Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 7-3 win over the White Sox:

QUOTES

* "Where five days ago, he was able to harness things and command the baseball a little better, tonight that was not the case.'' - John Farrell on Henry Owens.

* "That was a momentum shift for us.'' - Farrell on the inning-ending double play that ended the fifth, with Mookie Betts throwing out Brett Lowrie at the plate.

* "They've done outstanding work, when our backs have been against the wall with some early exits by starters.'' Farrell on the bullpen contributions.

* "It's disappointing, (after) working hard on my mechanics the last five days.'' - Owens on his command struggles.

* "It's good to win a series, for sure, against this team.'' - Xander Bogaerts on the win.

NOTES

* Seven different Red Sox hitters produced an RBI.

* The Red Sox are 9-2 in their last 11 and 11-4 in their last 15.

* Hanley Ramirez, who homered for the second time in his last two games, has nine RBI in his last nine games.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 11 straight games.

* The Sox became the first team to beat the White Sox two games in a row at home.

STARS

1) Matt Barnes

Barnes picked up the win in relief, contributing five big outs in the middle innings and stabilizing the game for the Red Sox bullpen.

2) Dustin Pedroia

After going hitless Wednesday night in the cleanup spot, Pedroia was back in the No. 2 hole and got the Sox off on the right foot with a solo homer in the top of the first. He later added two more hits.

3) Hanley Ramirez

Returning from a one-game absence, Ramirez belted his second homer in as many games and also worked two walks, a good sign for someone who not long ago was too often expanding the strike zone.

First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

henry-owens-red-sox.jpg

First impressions: Red Sox bullpen picks up the slack in 7-3 win

CHICAGO -- First impressions from the Red Sox' 7-3 win over the White Sox:

* Henry Owens doesn't throw enough strikes to remain in the rotation.

Owens's time was coming to an end anyway, what with the imminent return of Eduardo Rodriguez.

But Owens may have pitched his way out of another start with his outing Thursday night. He faced 16 hitters and walked six hitters.

In every inning he began, he allowed the leadoff hitter to reach. This, despite his teammates scoring runs for him in every previous half inning.

* For a team without a lot of homers, the Red Sox hit their share Thursday night.

The Sox came into the game tied for 11th in homers in the American League, then hit three in the first six innings.

Each one of the homers -- by Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Jackie Bradley - came with the bases empty, but together, they helped the Red Sox hold off the White Sox.

Ramirez's homer was particularly encouraging, since it was his second in the last three nights, and like the one he hit on Tuesday, was hit to the opposite field.

* The bullpen picked up a lot of slack.

When the Henry Owens Walkfest mercifully ended in the fourth inning, the Red Sox still had 18 outs to get.

Heath Hembree stumbled some, allowing a run on five hits -- the first run he's allowed this season -- but Matt Barnes, Junichi Tazawa, Robbie Ross. Jr took it from there, chipping in for the final 4 1/3 innings, all scoreless.

Thus far this season, the Red Sox have won four games in which their starter failed to get to the fifth inning. Some of that is a tribute to the offense, which has rallied a few times to make up early deficits.

But it's also due in part to the bullpen, which has provided quality relief and bought time for the offense to catch up.

* The Sox continue to play well on the road.

Through the first four road series, the Red Sox are 4-0-1, having done no worse than a split in their road sets to date.

Learning to win on the road now can be a useful trait for this team in the second half, when the schedule has them playing far more games away from home in the final two and a half months of the season.

* Boston had a balanced offensive attack.

Every member of the starting lineup except one Thursday had either an extra-base hit or a sacrifice fly. Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts, who continues to run hot and cold, was the only starter without one or the other, though he did have a single, walk twice and score a run.

In all, seven different players recorded one RBI.