Game over: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
The Sox offense was held to four hits. Josh Tomlin gets the win with seven strong innings while Josh Beckett takes the loss. Chris Perez got the save, after allowing one-out single by Dustin Pedroia (two hits) and a walk to Kevin Youkilis with two outs, with a scoreless ninth. He retired Davis Ortiz will runners at first and third with a line drive to left field to end the game. Table-setters Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford, at the top of Sox order tonight, went 0-for-8. The game was played in 2:48. The Sox drop to 0-4.
Bottom 8th: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
Good performance by the bullpen. Matt Albers, Bobby Jenks and Daniel Bard struck out 8 over the last three innings.
Top 8th: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
Interesting: After an RBI single and a walk, Saltalamacchia was pinch-hit for with Jed Lowrie, who fouled out to first base against lefty Tony Sipp. Ellsbury is now 0-for-4, ends the inning with a fly to left.
Bottom 7th: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
Tonight's attendance: drum roll.....9,025. Nice inning for Jenks - three K's and a walk, identical to Albers the previous inning.
Top 7th: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
Red Sox couldn't take advantage of an error by pitcher Josh Timlin on Adrian Gonzalez' tapper to the left of the mound. Tomlin, who has really kept Boston hitters off-balance, got the next three Sox batters to hold the two-run lead. Bobby Jenks is on in the 7th.
Bottom 6th: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
Matt Albers struck out the side and walked a batter - LaPorta - who stole second base (no throw from Salty as Scutaro was late covering the bag).
Top 6th: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
Francona wanted the top of the order to raise some havoc, but Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are now 0-for-6. As we start the bottom of the sixth, Beckett is out, Matt Albers is on. Beckett"s line: 5 IP, 5H, 3ER, 4BB, 4 K's. He threw 106 pitches.
Bottom 5th: Indians 3, Red Sox 1
Beckett's outing isn't that bad, but he's not able to sustain the good times too long. That was the pattern in spring training and here tonight. The Indians pushed a run in when Carlos Santana's sac fly got Asdrubal Cabrera in after he doubled to lead off the inning. He walked Hafner, but did limit the damage to a run.
Top 5th: Indians 2, Red Sox 1
A more patient Salty draws a walk, but is erased on Scutaro's inning-ending double play. Can't wait to hear what the attendance is here. Should have had it counted by now. The 8,726 fans on Sunday vs. the White Sox was the smallest crowd ever here. After a sellout 41,721 on Opening Day, they drew 9,853 in their second game.
Bottom 4th: Indians 2, Red Sox 1
Travis Hafner, in hibernation with injuries and overall decline over he past couple of seasons, has gotten off to a very good start in 2011. The muscular DH stroked a double off the rightfield wall, just a foot or so shy of a homer with one out and scored on Orlando's Cabrera's single to left over the head of Scutaro at shortstop. Cabrera went to second on Carl Crawford's throw to the plate. Beckett walked Austin Kearns, but then struck out Matt LaPorta on a nice breaking pitch, but Jack Hanahan, who spent part of last season at Pawtucket, knocked in Cabrera with the go-ahead run.
Top 4th: Red Sox 1, Indians 0
Just saw a strange thing - a shift on Adrian Gonzalez. Now normally you shift on a pull hitter like David Ortiz and J.D. Drew. But Gonzalez, who hits the ball the other way? Pretty unorthodox by the Indians, but it worked. Gonzalez knocked into a 6-5-3 double play.
Bottom 3rd: Red Sox 1, Indians 0
Beckett had retired eight straight after Brantley's leadoff double in the first inning before walking Brantley with two outs. Brantley stole second and advanced to third when Salty bounced a throw in front of the second base bag and over Scutaro's head into centerfield. Beckett then walked Asdrubal Cabrera. With runners at the corners, Cabrera stole second without a throw from Salty. But Beckett dug in and struck Choo out with an overpowering fastball.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 1, Indians 0
Sox go down in order. Ellsbury took a called third strike.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 1, Indians 0
Beckett looks good. He's thrown his fastball at about 92 or 93 mph, but has good movement and location. The Indians have hit a couple of long flyballs, but they went 1-2-3 in an economical inning for the big righthander. It's interesting to watch Beckett pregame when he walks into the dugout before he goes out to warm-up. He sits in the same spot and then goes over to a pile of towels and folds them all in perfect squares, sits back down for a few minutes and then runs out to the bullpen.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 1, Indians 0
Little two-out action here with David Ortiz drawing a walk and J.D. Drew stroking a double to the rightfield corner. With runners in scoring position, nice moment for Jarrod Saltalamacchia to break out of his 0-for-10. He sent a single just out of the reach of second baseman Orlando Cabrera, scoring Ortiz. Drew also tried to score on the shallow hit, but was thrown out by Shin-Soo Choo.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Indians 0
Josh Beckett allowed a double to right field to leadoff man Michael Brantley, but escaped with no damage by retiring the next three hitters. Jarrod Salatalamaccia had to make two trips to speak to Beckett as they seemed to be changing signals with the runner at second base.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Indians 0
We're underway, but not sure anyone knows it. I used to come into Cleveland with the Red Sox in the 1980s and there were so few people in the stands at Municipal Stadium that it didn't take you long to count them. It was so quiet, you could hear the conversation between pitcher and catcher. Tonight, while the venue is a bit nicer, it's amazing how few people are in the ballpark right now, If there are 3,000-4,000 here, I'd be shocked. Righty Josh Tomlin retired the Red Sox in order in the first inning. Carl Crawford, batting second, struck out and Dustin Pedroia, hitting third, did likewise.
Here's a shot of the crowd from Pete Abraham: