The giveaway might be the satisfied expression on the face of a certain Indians manager who commutes to work on a motor scooter. Tito’s wheels are real. The part that is made up is that Terry Francona has a bumper sticker that reads: “I don’t brake for Red Sox owners.’’
It’s going on three years now since Francona left the Red Sox, time enough for him to write a book in which he details his lack of affection for Sox ownership, and then to take the Indians to a playoff spot in his first year back as manager. A lot of water under the bridge, as they like to say.
But that doesn’t mean Francona doesn’t enjoy whenever his team can tweak the Boston Baseball Club owned and operated by John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino. There’s no expiration date on karmic payback.
The result: The Indians made it two straight over the Red Sox, 5-3, and did so Tuesday night in a manner reminiscent of the night before: Jump to an early lead, withstand a Xander Bogaerts home run and shut down the rest of the Sox offense.
First-inning blues: Sox starter Jake Peavy gave up five straight singles in the first, which led to a 3-0 Indians lead. Peavy then set down 14 in a row until Lonnie Chisenhall’s single with two out in the sixth, which no doubt factored into John Farrell’s decision to run him back out for the seventh. That, and the fact that Peavy would be facing David Murphy and two right-handed hitters at the bottom of the order.
Indians 1, Percentages 0: The Indians wrecked that thinking when Murphy drew a leadoff walk, the only one issued by Peavy, and Yan Gomes singled. Mike Aviles bunted into a force play, and with four of Cleveland’s next five hitters batting from the left side, Farrell went to Andrew Miller. Michael Bourn made hash of that idea by hitting a two-run double over Jonny Gomes’s head.
More thunder from Bogie: Bogaerts hit his second home run in two nights for Boston’s first run, then doubled and scored the tying run on Dustin Pedroia’s double in the seventh. In between, Jonathan Herrera, playing short for Stephen Drew, singled home a run. But the Sox would get no more, and have scored a total of five runs in two games here.
Hassan humbled: Rookie Alex Hassan, making his second big-league start, struck out in all four of his at-bats.