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

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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.

Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

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Improved Matt Barnes dealing with much more than mechanics

BOSTON — Matt Barnes has been coping with more than just a few bad outings on the mound, and he’s asking for help.

The Red Sox set-up man made some mechanical corrections that paid off in the eighth inning Monday night, when he struck out all three Twins he faced in a 4-1 Red Sox win at Fenway Park.

“I just simplified the mechanics,” Barnes said afterward. “Two days ago, I was trying to get with more of an up, down, and out approach. I felt better in that outing. I know I gave up a run and walked the one guy, but I felt better around the zone. And then just kind of went into a slide step, doing what Andrew Miller was doing.”

Barnes allowed four runs spanning his previous three outings, retiring just four batters while walking five. But Barnes has had a lot more to worry about than just a brief professional rut. 

He’s been devoted to helping his girlfriend, Chelsea, through the unexpected loss of her father, who was diagnosed with cancer and suffered a stroke

"Her father passed away [May 27]. That’s why I wasn’t in Baltimore for the two days [in early June], I was at his funeral,” Barnes said. "It’s tough, dealing with that, and she’s obviously having a hard time with it. She’s got her good days and her bad days. But it’s not easy. He was sick for a little while, and unexpectedly passed a lot faster than anybody ever expected him to. So, it’s been tough. She’s been alright, considering.”

There are a ton of medical bills still to be paid. A fundraising page has been set up to help the family with some large medical bills, and Barnes has asked on Twitter for people to spread the word if they’re able to.

“I’ve been able to spend a lot of time with her which is nice,” Barnes said of his girlfriend. “Everybody who’s helped out with donations and spreading the page, I couldn’t be more grateful, and she couldn’t be more grateful.”

Barnes is a big leaguer, but he’s still young and making the major league minimum. For every $1,000 total donated, Barnes plans to send a signed baseball to a random donor.

“I felt like it was a nice way, if they’re going to help me out, I can at least do that in return for them,” Barnes said.

Sale gets 9 Ks, Moreland hits home run as Red Sox beat Twins, 4-1

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Sale gets 9 Ks, Moreland hits home run as Red Sox beat Twins, 4-1

BOSTON - The way Chris Sale and the Boston relievers were pitching, the Red Sox didn't need to score a lot.

Sale went 6 1/3 overpowering innings with nine strikeouts, Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the third straight game and the Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-1 on Monday in a matchup of two of the AL's top teams.

"When you've got him on the mound, all you need is a couple and he's going to do the rest," Moreland said. "Obviously, tonight was another example of that."

Dustin Pedroia had two hits and drove in a run and Moreland added a sacrifice fly for Boston, which kept pace with the New York Yankees atop the East.

The Red Sox started fast, grabbing a 2-0 lead just four batters into the first.

"When the guys score early for you, it's nice," Sale said. "It settles you down a little bit and allows you to throw strikes."

Coming off a three-game sweep in Cleveland that had jumped them over the Indians into first in the Central, the Twins' offense was stymied by Sale and three relievers. The loss coupled with Cleveland's win over Texas moved the Indians back a half-game ahead.

Sale (10-3) gave up one run and four hits, increasing his major-league strikeout total to 155. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 21st save after Matt Barnes struck out three in the eighth. Heath Hembree faced one batter, getting a double play.

The 6-foot-6 Sale relied on his usual sharp-breaking slider and fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s to fan eight over the first six innings, getting the initial half dozen with his breaking pitch.

"It's what we've seen many times. He had a nice mix," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I think the biggest trouble we had was with that slider, especially down and in to righties."

Jose Berrios (7-2) allowed four runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings. Chris Gimenez had a solo homer for Minnesota.

"When you go against a guy like Chris Sale, you try to give 110 percent," Berrios said through a translator.

Boston jumped ahead when Moreland homered into the first row of Green Monster seats after the first run scored on a double-play grounder.

Berrios had given up just two runs in each of his previous four starts, and six of eight since being promoted on May 7.

Gimenez's homer completely left Fenway Park over the Monster.