BOSTON – Before Saturday’s game against the Indians at Fenway Park, Red Sox manager John Farrell expressed pessimism over whether they would be able to get the game in. A steady drizzle was falling and the forecast didn’t appear to show much improvement for the rest of the day.
Fortunately for the Sox, they did complete the game, without a weather delay, taking their second straight win over the Indians, 7-4.
Mike Carp’s first-pitch pinch-hit double in the eighth off reliever Vinnie Pestano scored Pedro Ciriaco to tie the game and Dustin Pedroia’s double off the wall one batter later scored Carp. In the same inning, Daniel Nava’s fly to left with two outs fell in for two more runs.
Junichi Tazawa pitched a scoreless eighth for the win, and Andrew Bailey earned his first save since being activated from the disabled list on Monday.
Pestano took the loss.
Left-hander Jon Lester started and went seven innings, throwing a season high 124 pitches and 81 strikes. He allowed four runs on a sea son-high 10 hits and eight strikeouts with one walk.
As in his previous outing two-out runs were an issue for Lester. Three of the four runs he allowed to the Indians came with two outs.
Cleveland left-hander Scott Kazmir went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and four walks with six strikeouts and a balk. He was not involved in the decision, though.
The Indians got on the board first, with a run in the first inning. With two outs, Asdrubal Cabrera singled, scoring on Nick Swisher’s double.
The Red Sox tied the game in the second. With two outs Jose Iglesias singled, took second on Kazmir’s balk and scored on Pedro Ciriaco’s single.
Cleveland got two more in the third when Drew Stubbs led off with a walk, scoring on Cabrera’s double. On Swisher’s single, Cabrera was thrown out trying to score. But After Lester hit Mark Reynolds with a pitch, Carlos Santana, singled to score Swisher.
The Red Sox continued to chip away. In the fourth, Iglesias’ one-out doubled scored Daniel Nava, who walked to open the inning. They tied the score in the fifth, with Bryan Shaw in to relieve Kazmir. With the bases loaded, Jonny Gomes sacrifice fly scored Iglesias.
The Indians scored a go-ahead run in the seventh. With runners on second and third and two outs, Lester unleashed a wild pitch to score Mike Aviles, putting the Indians up 4-3.
But the Sox four-run eighth inning secured the win, the second straight over the Indians.
AT A GLANCE
STAR OF THE GAME: Jose Iglesias
It was a tough call for star of the game. Iglesias won out over Ciriaco only because he was at his second position in as many games, in his second game in his second big league stint this season, and scored two runs.
Iglesias went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Combined, he and Ciriaco went 6-for-8 with three runs scored, two doubles, and an RBI.
For Iglesias, it was his second three-hit game of the season, along with Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. In eight games this season, he has six infield hits.
HONORABLE MENTION: Pedro Ciriaco
Ciriaco went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. His second-inning RBI single snapped an 0-for-12 skid. The three hits were the most he’s had in a game since Aug. 26, 2012, against the Royals.
THE GOAT: Vinnie Pestano
Pestano entered the game in the eighth inning with a one-run lead and departed with a three-run deficit. He faced nine batters in the eighth inning. He took the loss, falling to 0-1 as his ERA climbed from 2.45 to 5.25.
It was the first loss of the season for an Indians reliever. The Cleveland bullpen is now a combined 8-1.
THE TURNING POINT
With two outs in the eighth inning, and Pedro Ciriaco on second with a double, Mike Carp pinch-hit for Jonny Gomes. He needed just one pitch from Pestano to turn the game’s momentum to the Red Sox, who had trailed for most of the game. Carp’s double to left scored Ciriaco to tie the game. And Carp scored one batter later with the go-ahead run.
BY THE NUMBERS: 6-for-8
Iglesias and Ciriaco, the Sox Nos. 8 and 9 hitters in the game, went a combined 6-for-8 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored. The rest of the Sox batters combined to go 5-for-26 (batting .126) in the game.
QUOTE OF NOTE
“Just trying to get a pitch I can put a good swing on. Left one out over the plate and got it off the wall. It’s big. Especially, I was in a little bit of a slump, to be able to come out of that and win the ballgame, it means a lot.” – Mike Carp, who had been in an 0-for-21 skid before his three-run homer on Friday.