CLEVELAND It took four games, but things finally calibrated into balance for the Red Sox and Indians in the MLB world order.
The Sox offense lit up a young, inexperienced pitcher and Jon Lester wriggled out of some early trouble to dominate the Tribe hitters in a 14-1 victory at Progressive Field. The win gave Boston a split of the four-game series against the Indians before they move onto important divisional bouts against both the Orioles and the Yankees. It was also the most runs the Red Sox offense has scored since that put up 15 in a June 20 shellacking of the Miami Marlins.
Boston jumped all over Corey Kluber in the top of the first inning with Carl Crawford and Dustin Pedroia lacing back-to-back doubles before the incendiary Adrian Gonzalez mauled a two-run homer to right field. It was Gonzos 13th home run of the season and his 32nd and 33rd RBI since the All-Star break to lead all of Major League Baseball.
Lester gave one run back in the bottom of the first and labored through a 27 pitch innings, but the Sox kept offense kept pouring it on and knocked the Cleveland rookie out of the game in the fourth inning.
A two-run Crawford double in the second inning helped push Boston ahead by a comfortable margin, and then the Sox offense blew the doors off the Cleveland joint in the fifth with an eight-run inning. Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia, Gonzalez and Aviles all finished with multi-hit games and Gonzalez knocked in a game-high four runs for the Sox.
That wide margin allowed Lester to settle in and start mowing down Tribe hitters. He allowed only three hits and a pair of walks over his six innings of work and a season-high fanned 12 batters in a turn back the clock performance that Sox fans havent seen enough of this year from the big lefty. He didnt allow an Indians hit after the third innings while getting stronger as the game wore on with his heater, cut fastball and slider all working in tandem.
In the good debut department for the Sox new guy Danny Valencia also collected his first RBI with the team on a sacrifice fly to left field in that massive fifth inning rally. Valencia was also the only player in the Sox starting lineup that didnt finish with a hit in the 15-hit barrage of Indians pitching.