Rapid Reaction: Indians 3, Red Sox 2
June, 15, 2014
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Nick Swisher’s solo home run in the top of the 11th inning gave the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox Sunday at Fenway Park.
Swisher crushed a 2-1 offering from Red Sox reliever Junichi Tazawa and deposited it into the right-field seats.
Despite the loss, Red Sox starter Brandon Workman continues to impress. The right-hander made only his fifth start of the season and turned in another strong performance.
Although he did not factor into the decision, Workman tossed six innings (plus two batters in the seventh) and allowed only two runs on five hits, including a solo home run. He struck out a season-high seven batters and tossed 103 pitches (68 strikes). He walked only two and hit a batter.
Overall, Workman has a 2.91 ERA and has limited opponents to three runs or fewer in each of his eight career starts in the majors.
In his previous start, Workman shut out the Baltimore Orioles to help Boston to a 1-0 win on June 10. He worked a career-high 6 2/3 innings and allowed a career-low one hit.
Workman continued that consistency on Sunday.
Other than Michael Brantley’s solo home run with two outs in the top of the first, Workman kept the Indians at bay. He retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced, including eight in a row.
After Brantley’s homer gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead, the Red Sox responded in the bottom of the first to tie the game at 1-1 on David Ortiz’s opposite-field, wall-ball single to score Brock Holt, but Ortiz was thrown out at second attempting to stretch his hit into a double.
As Workman maneuvered his way through the Cleveland order, the game remained knotted until Boston gained a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Jackie Bradley Jr. reached on a one-out walk, then took third on Holt’s second base hit of the day. Dustin Pedroia hit a chopper to short, and Holt’s hustle and slide into second broke up a potential double play, as Pedroia was safe at first, allowing Bradley to score the go-ahead run.
With his pitch count nearing 100, Workman issued a walk to lead off the top of the seventh. The Indians’ Carlos Santana followed with a single to put runners on the corners, and that ended Workman’s outing. Red Sox reliever Burke Badenhop entered the game and allowed a sacrifice fly to Yan Gomes as Cleveland tied the game at 2-2.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Cleveland reliever, and former Red Sox pitcher, Scott Atchison entered the game to face Holt and was able to get the Sox leadoff man to ground out to second base.
After a scoreless 10th inning, Swisher led off the 11th with his homer off Tazawa to give Cleveland the victory.
Closing time: With the game tied at 2-2, Red Sox closer Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth inning to lower his ERA to 0.59. He has not allowed a run in his last 20 innings of work and leads all AL relievers in ERA.
Back at it: Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew returned to the lineup in fine fashion Sunday afternoon. After dealing with an oblique strain that kept him sidelined for a few days, Drew went 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a few nice defensive plays. However, with one out and the game tied at two with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth, Drew struck out swinging.
Down on the farm: Red Sox pitcher Felix Doubront made his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Sunday and worked five innings without allowing a hit or run. The left-hander struck out 10 and issued four walks. He tossed 93 pitches (50 strikes) for the PawSox. He’s been on the disabled list since May 21 with a left-shoulder strain. He’s made three minor league rehab starts.