Game over: A punchless team tonight succumbed to Zach McAllister and the Indians. The Red Sox had taken a 2-1 lead with their only legitimate rally in the fourth, but even there came up short. Franklin Morales ran up his pitch count early and the Sox bullpen was mediocre. The one guy who came to play, as usual, was Dustin Pedroia with great defense and a ninth-inning single. Adrian Gonzalez made a bid for the wall in left in the ninth, but fell short. The game was played in 2:40 before 27,894.
Bottom 8th: Indians 5, Red Sox 2 Craig Breslow came on. He struck out Choo, but then allowed a double to Carlos Santana that jetted passed Carl Crawford to to the wall after it took a funny hop when it landed in the outfield. Ezequiel Carrera singled to left on a 2-2 pitch to score the insurance run.
Top 8th: Indians 4, Red Sox 2 The Red Sox really make make mediocre pitchers look good. McAllister got through the eighth. It was the longest he’d ever pitched in his career.
Bottom 7th: Indians 4, Red Sox 2 Lillibridge continued his assault on the Red Sox. He doubled to center, advanced to third on a ground ball out and scored on a suicide squeeze by Lou Marson. Dionald singled and then Ellsbury saved further damage against Mark Melancon by making a spactacular sliding catch on the wearninbg track to rob Cabrera.
Top 7th: Indians 3, Red Sox 2 Red Sox back to their old ways offensively – 1-2-3 – without much of a fight.
Bottom 6th: Indians 3, Red Sox 2 Dustin Pedroia is coming out of his body tonight defensively. Another great diving stop on Jason Donald’s grounder heading into center field, got up and threw him out. But Morales was tiring. He walked Cabrera and hit Choo in the back with a pitch. He was up to 103 pitches at this point. Bob McClure paid a visit to the mound with Andrew Miller and Mark Melancon warming in the pen. The Indians worked a successful double-steal and when Morales went 3-1 on Carlos Santana, the Sox ordered an intentional walk. That was all for Morales. Miller came on with the bases loaded and got Brantley to line out to left. With Crawford’s bad elbow he didn’t even attempt to throw to the plate, scoring the go-ahead run. Melancon replaced Miller and retired Duncan on a hard-hiot ball up the middle that Mike Aviles made a nice stop on to force the runner at second base.
Top 6th: Red Sox 2, Indians 2 Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to left, but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple when Brent Lillibridge took centerfielder Michael Brantley’s throw which was wide of third and dove to tag ellsbury on the leg before Ellsbury could get to the bag. Speed kills. The Sox went out after that.
Bottom 5th: Red Sox 2, Indians 2 Guess Lillibridge is coming back to haunt the Red Sox. He singled to center scoring Michael Brantley to tie it up. Morales got himself in trouble by balking Brantley to second. Brantley then took off for third on Shelley Duncan’s ground ball out before Lillibridge struck. Morales got out of further difficulty when he retired Kotchman and Marson (on a called third strike with a 96 mph heater).
Top 5th: Red Sox 2, Indians 1 Bottom of the Sox order goes down in order. Lavarnway now 2-for-18.
Bottom 4th: Red Sox 2, Indians 1 What can you say? An absolutely superb diving play on a Carlos Santana grounder which Dustin Pedroia turned into an inning-ending double-play. Choo had walked twith one out against Morales.
Top 4th: Red Sox 2, Indians 1 Got to admit, it was like a track meet out there, but strange table-setting methods by the Red Sox. After Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to the leftcenter gap, Carl Crawford, who spent hours practicing his bunting in spring training, laid down a hard one that pitcher Zack McAllister fielded, turned to third where he could have had Ellsbury dead had their been someone covering. Third baseman Brent Lillibridge had come in when Crawford bunted and couldn’t get back. Every one was safe. Pedroia then grounded to third and Lillibridge had Ellsbury caught between third and home, but the shortstop, Asdrubal Cabrera, couldn’t get over to third to catch Ellsbury getting back. Every one safe. Bases loaded. Adrian Gonzalez then put a nice inside-out swing on a McAllister offering and sent it off the left field wall. Ellsbury, Crawford and Pedroia all raced home just a few feet away from each other as if if were a 100-yard dash. Two of them scored, but Pedroia was tagged out. The Sox stranded Gonzalez at second, a run that may come back to haunt them.
Bottom 3rd: Indians 1, Red Sox 0 Why can’t we get players like Brent Lillibridge? He homered to left in the third ending Morales’ domination. Lillibridge was designated for assignment by the Sox and then traded to the Indians for Jose De La Torre (no relation to Joe). Morales got the next two outs on fly balls and then K’d Jason Donald on a 96 mph high fastball.
Top 3rd: Red Sox 0, Indians 0 Guess the Red Sox think Zack McAllister is Bob Feller. He’s retired the first nine batters.
Bottom 2nd: Red Sox 0, Indians 0 Franklin Morales gets two outs via the fly ball and one more K. He’s got four K’s throwing a nice 95 heater and effective offspeed stuff.
Top 2nd: Red Sox 0, Indians 0 Adrian Gonzalez sent a deep drive to right but caught at the wall by Shin-Soo Choo. Jarrod Saltalamacchia sends a deep drive to left. Sox get nothing out of it, but if I were McAllister I’d be worried.
Bottom 1st: Red Sox 0, Indians 0 Impressive performance by Franklin Morales to start the game. He struck out the side.
Top 1st: Red Sox 0, Indians 0 Zack McAllister mows the Sox down in the first inning. Jacoby Ellsbury struck out, Carl Crawford lined to shortstop and Dustin Pedroia grounded out to second base. Game began at 6:23 p.m.because of a Gaylord Perry tribute here before the game.