Final, Red Sox 7-2: Mike Napoli steps on first base to retire Asdrubal Cabrera for the final out, and with it, an emotional evening for the Red Sox comes to a close.
The Sox struck seven times in the second inning off Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, and that would be all they needed. Felix Doubront allowed a run through five innings, and Clayton Mortensen and Alex Wilson each tossed two innings in relief to lock down the win.
Napoli was the star at the plate, doubling twice in that second inning and driving in three runs for the Sox, who improve their winning streak to four games and their overall record to an AL East-best 9-4.
These two teams will be back at it Wednesday night, when Justin Masterson and the Indians host Alfredo Aceves and the Red Sox at 7:05 p.m.
Mid 9th, Red Sox 7-2: The Indians couldn’t ask more of Brian Shaw, as the reliever entered with two outs in the eighth and proceeded to strike out all four batters he faced.
Lonnie Chisenhall, Ryan Rayburn and Drew Stubbs (the Nos. 8, 9 and 1 batters) are due up for the Tribe in the bottom of the ninth.
End 8th, Red Sox 7-2: Pedro Ciriaco and Daniel Nava haven’t had the most success at the plate tonight, but they’ve made up for it with their play in the field.
Nava made a number of heady plays in left field earlier in the night, and Ciriaco just started a highlight-reel double play to help Alex Wilson easily escape the eighth. Michael Brantley’s sharp grounder up the middle deflected off Wilson’s glove and was corralled with a bare hand by Ciriaco, who stepped on second and threw a rocket to first, with Mike Napoli making a lunging grab to complete the play.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 7-2: The Red Sox are again unable to add to their five-run cushion, managing only a walk for the fourth consecutive inning.
Alex Wilson, who was called up to the majors when John Lackey was placed on the DL, will come on to work the bottom of the eighth.
End 7th, Red Sox 7-2: Three up, three down for the Indians in the seventh as Mortensen retires the Tribe in order.
Pedro Ciriaco, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino will look to add to the Boston lead in the eighth, with Ciriaco and Victorino both searching for their first hit of the night.
Mid 7th, Red Sox 7-2: Rich Hill sits down David Ross by way of the K, and we go to the bottom of the seventh.
Strikeouts have been commonplace for both teams tonight. Cleveland pitchers have struck out 11 Red Sox tonight, while their hitters have been victimized by eight K’s themselves.
Clayton Mortensen returns for a second inning and will face the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 batters in the Indians order.
Top 7th, Red Sox 7-2: One old Boston friend will call in another, as Terry Francona brings in former Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill to replace Hagadone with two outs and Jonny Gomes on first.
End 6th, Red Sox 7-2: As has been the trend with Red Sox pitching tonight, Clayton Mortensen was not perfect in the sixth inning, but he was effective enough to keep the Indians off the scoreboard.
A walk to Ryan Rayburn put two men on with two outs, but Mortensen responded with three consecutive strikes to sit down Drew Stubbs looking and leave Michael Brantley standing on second base.
Nick Hagadone returns for the seventh to face Will Middlebrooks.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 7-2: The Red Sox are fortunate to have had that seven-run rally back in the second, because they haven’t done a whole lot on offense otherwise.
Shane Victorino worked a four-pitch walk in the sixth, but Boston’s other three batters could not reach base, as Jacoby Ellsbury grounded out to first and Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli both struck out looking.
Felix Doubront’s night is indeed done, as Clayton Mortensen will take the mound for the Sox in the bottom of the inning. Doubront finishes with a run on four hits and four walks over five innings, striking out seven.
End 5th, Red Sox 7-2: This is a five-run ballgame, but the cushion certainly doesn’t seem that comfortable.
With the bases loaded, Felix Doubront stuck out Carlos Santana for the inning’s second out. He then ran the count to 1-2 against Nick Swisher before missing way high with a fastball that got away from catcher David Ross.
Ryan Raburn came in to score on the passed ball, and Swisher would eventually walk before Doubront got Mark Reynolds to pop out with the bases loaded to end the threat, and likely Doubront’s night.
The right-hander has thrown 104 pitches. Clayton Mortensen is currently warming in the Boston bullpen.
Bottom 5th, Red Sox 7-1: The Indians are getting to Doubront in the fifth, and pitching coach Juan Nieves comes out to settle his hurler down.
After getting Lonnie Chisenhall to fly out to open the fifth, Doubront allowed a single to Ryan Raburn — which would have been a double if not for a heads-up play by Daniel Nava in left field — a walk to Drew Stubbs and another single to Asdrubal Cabrera, loading the bases for Carlos Santana.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 7-1: Cody Allen has done everything Terry Francona could have asked for him, striking out six through his 2 2/3 innings. Lefty Nick Hagadone will come in to face Pedro Ciriaco with two outs.
This is just Hagadone’s second appearance of the season. The former Red Sox prospect tossed an inning of scoreless relief in his 2013 debut against the White Sox on April 13.
He gets Pedro Ciriaco to fly out to left field, and we head into the game’s halfway point with the Sox still holding a 7-1 lead.
End 4th, Red Sox 7-1: Felix Doubront has been far from overpowering, but he’s been getting the job done. A Mark Reynolds walk provided the only baserunner in the fourth, as the Red Sox are still holding strong with a six-run lead.
Daniel Nava, who has struggled at the plate with two strikeouts tonight, made a nifty play in left field, sliding to rob Michael Brantley of a base hit.
We’ve just gotten word that the Yankees played “Sweet Caroline” in the Bronx after the third inning in a showing of support for their Boston rivals. We’ll bring you video of the gesture as soon as it becomes available.
Mid 4th, Red Sox 7-1: Just as Adam Warren did for the Yankees after starter Hiroki Kuroda exited the second game of the season early back on April 3, Cody Allen has held the Red Sox in check out of the bullpen.
The reliever has scattered four hits but has not allowed a run since entering in place of Ubaldo Jimenez in the top of the second.
New York turned a 7-1 laugher into a tight, three-run contest late in that early-season matchup. The Sox will try not to repeat that trend of taking their foot off the gas tonight.
End 3rd, Red Sox 7-1: No balls are put in play in the frame, as Felix Doubront walks one and strikes out the side.
Doubront’s pitches are missing a lot of bats tonight — he’s allowed just two hits — but they’ve been missing the strike zone a lot, too. He needed 23 pitches to get through four batters in the third, bringing his pitch total to 59 on the night.
Only 38 of those pitches have gone for strikes, and John Farrell may be dipping into his bullpen early if Doubront can’t reel it in a bit.
The Red Sox do still hold a six-run lead, though, so Farrell may be quicker to bring in a reliever, especially given Doubront’s 11-day rest period coming into tonight.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 7-1: Boston added two more baserunners but couldn’t bring them home.
Jonny Gomes and David Ross both roped one-out singles into left field, but Cody Allen was able to strike out Pedro Ciriaco on three pitches and got some help from his first baseman, as Nick Swisher swallowed a sharp line drive off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury and took it first himself to end the inning.
End 2nd, Red Sox 7-1: The Indians got on the board in their half of the second, but a pair of nice plays by Shane Victorino limited the damage to just the one run.
With Nick Swisher at first base and one out, Victorino made a nice, barehanded snag on a Michael Brantley line drive to right field, allowing Brantley to reach but holding him to a single.
Victorino then ranged back to his right to haul in a Mike Aviles line drive that could have cleared the bases. Swisher scored on the play, but Felix Doubront proceeded to strike out third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall to end the threat.
Doubront has shown some control struggles of his own tonight, as catcher David Ross had needed to go down and grab several balls in the dirt.
Mid 2nd, Red Sox 7-0: Cody Allen gets Will Middlebrooks to strike out looking, but the damage is done. Former Yankee Nick Swisher will come to the plate first in the bottom of the frame to try to get his Indians back in the game.
Top 2nd, Red Sox 7-0: And they’re not done yet.
Mike Napoli crushes a three-run double to center field — his second of the inning — to put the Sox up by a touchdown less than two innings in.
Top 2nd, Red Sox 4-0: Things have gone downhill for Ubaldo Jimenez in a hurry.
After working a 1-2-3 first inning, Jimenez walked five batters in the second, allowing the Sox to jump out to a 4-0 lead.
Mike Napoli opened the frame with the first hit of the night, a double into right-center field. After a slow start to the season, Napoli has turned it on of late, hitting safely in seven of his last eight games. He now leads the team in both doubles (5) and extra-base hits (7) while still holding the club lead in RBIs (11).
Walks by both Will Middlebrooks and Jonny Gomes loaded the bases for David Ross, and Ross worked yet another walk after taking some several pitches from Jimenez that didn’t miss by much.
A line-drive sacrifice fly by No. 9 hitter Pedro Ciriaco allowed Middlebrooks to score the inning’s second run, and Jacoby Ellsbury brought Gomes all the way home from second when his line drive up the middle ricocheted off shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera’s glove.
Jimenez then walked both Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia in succession, bringing in Boston’s fourth run and prompting pitching coach Mickey Callaway to lift his starter with two outs. Cody Allen will come on for the Indians.
End 1st, 0-0: Felix Doubront is similarly effective in the first, and we have yet to see a baserunner on an overcast evening in Cleveland.
It has been awhile since Doubront has taken the mound for the Sox. John Lackey’s injury led to Alfredo Aceves’ promotion to the rotation, and manager John Farrell chose to use the right-handed Aceves instead of the southpaw Doubront in last week’s series finale against Baltimore.
With the next game being postponed due to rain, Doubront’s layoff between starts was stretched to 11 days.
Mid 1st, 0-0: Ellsbury, Shane Victorino and Dustin Pedroia all ground out to the left side of the infield as Jimenez makes quick work of the Sox in the first.
This is a welcome change from the right-hander’s most recent start last Monday, in which he was shelled for seven runs on seven hits and three walks in just 4 1/3 innings.
Since the Indians did not play yesterday, players for both teams are wearing Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 tonight. Cleveland players have also joined the Red Sox in wearing black armbands in honor of the victims.
Drew Stubbs, Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana will get things started for the Indians against Felix Doubront.
7:05 p.m.: As Will Middlebrooks told the media before the game, “It’s a good thing we’re able to give the people something positive.” Let’s play ball.
Jacoby Ellsbury comes up to receive the first pitch from Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez.
7 p.m.: A collective hush falls over Progressive Field as the teams hold a moment of silence in memory of the victims.
6:45 p.m.: The tarp is off the field in Cleveland, and all signs indicate that tonight’s game will get started on time. Stadium officials will keep a close eye on the forecast, though, as chances of precipitation range from 60 percent to 90 percent in the lakeside city over the next three hours.
6:30 p.m.: “Boston Strong” is the theme in the Red Sox clubhouse leading up to tonight’s contest, as tributes from the Boston players continue to pop up on social media.
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who has been very outspoken in his support for the city, tweeted a photo of the cleats he will wear tonight, with those same words inscribed in sliver Sharpie. That same marker was used by every Red Sox player to sign a large banner bearing the Boston “B” and the word “strong.”
Even though many of these players have been wearing the blue and red for just a few short weeks, it’s clear that they have already developed a deep connection to the city.
5:30 p.m.: In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy, both the Red Sox and other teams around the majors have poured out their support for the city of Boston. That will continue tonight.
The center-field flag at Cleveland’s Progressive Field has been set at half-mast, and NESN’s Jenny Dell reports all Sox players will wear black armbands for the entirety of their three-game road trip.
As for the action on the field, Boston will feature a new face at shortstop as Pedro Ciriaco makes his first start since April 6.
Terry Francona’s Indians lineup is far different from anything the Red Sox have seen in the past, as only three of tonight’s starters in the field (shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, catcher Carlos Santana and left fielder Michael Brantley) were with the team at the beginning of last season.
One of the newcomers is former Francona disciple Mike Aviles, who spent all of 2012 with Boston. He’ll start at second base for Cleveland tonight and bat seventh. Here are the full starting lineups:
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Shane Victorino, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Daniel Nava, LF
Jonny Gomes, DH
David Ross, C
Pedro Ciriaco, SS
Felix Doubront, LHP
Drew Stubbs, CF
Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
Carlos Santana, C
Nick Swisher, 1B
Mark Reynolds, DH
Michael Brantley, LF
Mike Aviles, 2B
Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B
Ryan Raburn, RF
Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP
8 a.m. ET: It will surely take more than one day for the city of Boston to recover from the tragedy that marred the end of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
The Bruins postponed their game with the Senators on Monday night, and the Celtics chose to cancel their Tuesday night contest against the Pacers at TD Garden. But for the Red Sox, who traveled to Cleveland after wrapping up a Patriots’ Day win over Tampa Bay, baseball will be played.
Felix Doubront makes his second start of the season as the Red Sox take on an Indians squad led by manager Terry Francona, who faces the Sox for the first time since leaving Boston after the 2011 season. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez will take the mound for Cleveland.
After sweeping the Rays in three games at Fenway Park, the Sox will look to improve their winning streak to four games against their first non-division opponent of the year.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m., but be sure to check back here throughout the day for a breakdown of the starting lineups, pregame analysis and much more.