Red Sox hold off Indians, 6-3, for fifth straight win

Red Sox hold off Indians, 6-3, for fifth straight win
April 17, 2013, 10:45 pm
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CLEVELAND -- Off to their best start to a season since 2006, the Red Sox held off the Cleveland Indians, 6-3, Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.

The Sox scored three times before an out could be recorded in the first inning, then tacked on solo runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth.

Alfredo Aceves, making his second start filling in for the injured John Lackey, blanked the Indians over the first five innings before tiring in the sixth, when he allowed two homers and three runs.

Junichi Tazawa came on in the sixth with a runner on second and no outs and set down all six hitters he faced over the next two innings, four by strikeout. The Sox also got perfect innings from Koji Uehara (eighth) and Andrew Bailey (ninth, picking up his first save of the season).

Mike Carp, in the starting lineup for the first time this season, cranked out two doubles and a run-scoring triple in three at-bats. Mike Napoli's two-run single in the first gave him 13 RBI in the last nine games.

Daniel Nava chipped in with run-scoring singles in the first and another in the sixth.

STAR OF THE GAME: Shane Victorino
Victorino was on base four times (three hits and a hit batsman), but his real contributions came in the field, where he threw out one baserunner trying to stretch a single into a double, and in the fifth, went into the gap to take extra bases away with the bases loaded.

Tazawa entered in the sixth with a runner in scoring position and the potential tying run at the plate. He proceeded to retire all six hitters he faced over the next two innings, including the last four by strikeout.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Justin Masterson
The former Red Sox pitcher had allowed just one run over his first three starts, but failed to retire one of the first five hitters he faced as the Red Sox grabbed a 3-0 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

TURNING POINT: The Indians had the bases loaded, trailing 4-0 in the fifth, when Victorino raced to the right-center gap and ran down what looked to be extra bases for Asdrubal Cabrera for the final out.

BY THE NUMBERS: Mike Napoli has driven in 16 runs in the first 14 games of the season. The last first-year Red Sox player get off to such a quick start was Carl Everett, who had 15 in his first 13 games in 2000.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "I know I'll get my opportunity here and there. You just have to be ready to go when you get it.'' -- Mike Carp, who got his first start of the season and responded with three extra-base hits (two doubles and a triple) in three at-bats.