Final, Red Sox 6-5: Words won’t do that rally any justice.
Jacoby Ellsbury jumped on Joe Smith’s first pitch, and he sent a game-winning, two-run double into the left-center field gap.
The Red Sox scored four runs in the ninth inning to cap off an incredible comeback at Fenway Park.
The Sox’ bats were held down for much of the game, but Dustin Pedroia walked and David Ortiz doubled to help kick off a wild ninth-inning rally that had the Fenway Faithful hanging on every pitch.
The come-from-behind win ends a resilient weekend for the Red Sox, who bounced back from a blowout loss in the series opener to take three straight against the Indians.
4:52 p.m., Indians 5-4: The Red Sox have made things very, very, very interesting.
Dustin Pedroia walked to begin the ninth inning, and David Ortiz followed up with a double over the head of center fielder Michael Bourn. That brought the tying run to the plate with no outs.
The Sox then scored two runs on RBI groundouts from Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia before building up another threat.
Jonny Gomes walked, and he went from first to third on Stephen Drew’s single. Drew took second on a pitch in the dirt.
Jose Iglesias put up a fantastic at-bat before eventually working a walk to bring up Jacoby Ellsbury with the bases loaded.
Perez injured himself in the middle of Ellsbury’s at-bat, and Joe Smith is coming on to try and get the final out.
Mid 9th, Indians 5-2: The Indians are three outs away from salvaging a split. Let’s see what the Red Sox’ offense has in store.
Craig Breslow tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning. He retired Carlos Santana, Michael Brantley and Mike Aviles in sequence to keep the deficit at three runs.
The Red Sox will send Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Mike Napoli to the plate in the ninth inning. If the Sox are going to come back, they’ve got the horses to do it.
Closer Chris Perez is coming on for the Indians.
End 8th, Indians 5-2: If there’s a silver lining for the Red Sox in this game, it’s Stephen Drew’s effort at the plate.
Drew drove a 2-1 fastball over Drew Stubbs’ head and all the way to the right-field wall. Drew hustled out of the box and motored his way to a leadoff triple.
Drew entered the game mired in an 0-for-17 slump, but he’s 2-for-3 thus far.
Drew has also scored both of Boston’s run, as he came across with Boston’s second run of the game in the eighth. Jose Iglesias lifted a fly ball to left field that was deep enough to bring Drew home.
The Red Sox’ offense couldn’t chip away any further in the inning, and Boston will have a three-run deficit to overcome in the ninth.
Mid 8th, Indians 5-1: A comeback just got a little more difficult for the Red Sox. The Indians tacked on another run in the eighth.
Jason Kipnis led off the inning against Craig Breslow by driving a ball toward the right-center field gap. Daniel Nava and Jacoby Ellsbury converged on the fly ball, but it looked as if they may have lost it in the sun. The ball fell in-between them and rolled to the wall, allowing Kipnis to reach with a double. In fact, Kipnis’ double was hit further than his fifth-inning home run, which landed in the first row near Pesky’s Pole.
Asdrubal Cabrera followed up Kipnis’ double with a single into center field to put runners at the corners. Kipnis scored when Nick Swisher flied out to left.
Gomes hauled in Swisher’s flyout and fired to the plate. Cabrera thought about tagging up and going to second on the throw, but he threw on the brakes and ended up in no man’s land. Jarrod Saltalamacchia turned and tossed to Mike Napoli at first base to double-up Cabrera.
End 7, Indians 4-1: Terry Francona used three pitchers in the seventh inning, but it worked, as the Indians still hold a three-run lead.
Starter Corey Kluber began the inning and got two quick outs. David Ortiz grounded out, and Mike Napoli struck out for the third time.
Francona turned to left-hander Rich Hill with two down in the inning. Hill walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and that was the only batter he faced.
Jonny Gomes was introduced as a pinch-hitter with the lefty on the mound, and Francona responded by calling upon right-hander Cody Allen. Allen retired Gomes on an eventful flyout to left field that almost saw Michael Brantley and Mike Aviles run into each other.
Craig Breslow will pitch the eighth inning for Boston. Gomes will remain in the game in left field.
Mid 7th, Indians 4-1: We just witnessed a true act of patriotism — or something along those lines — at Fenway Park.
Michael Bourn worked a two-out walk against the Red Sox’ new pitcher, Alex Wilson. Bourn then tried to use his speed to move up into scoring position. But with Jason Kipnis batting, the Red Sox called for a pitch-out, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia fired down to second base to catch Bourn stealing.
That’s when the fun started. Bourn wasn’t happy with the call, and it’s actually the second time the Indians leadoff hitter has been at the center of a dispute. Bourn attempted to bunt in the fifth inning, but he made contact with the ball after leaving the batter’s box, and home plate umpire Chris Guccione called him out.
Terry Francona came out for another discussion when Bourn was thrown out trying to steal. Francona, Bourn and second base umpire Tom Hallion all had an animated chat in shallow center field. Until “God Bless America” started up, of course.
Once the American ballad got underway, the arguing trio put their bickering aside in the name of the stars and stripes. When the song ended, there were smiles all around, and the three men dispersed. That, my friends, is the national pastime.
Oh yeah, the Indians didn’t score in the inning.
End 6th, Indians 4-1: Jacoby Ellsbury gave the Red Sox their first hit since the third inning, but Corey Kluber did something he didn’t do in that inning: escape without the hit amounting to anything.
Jacoby Ellsbury pulled a single into right field with one out, and he then swiped second base. But Kluber struck out Daniel Nava and Dustin Pedroia swinging to end the threat.
Nava fanned on a curveball down and in, which capped off a string of offspeed pitches from Kluber. Kluber also threw a heavy dose of offspeed stuff to Pedroia before getting him to chase a curveball in the dirt.
Alex Wilson will enter the game for Boston after Felix Doubront went the first six innings.
Mid 6th, Indians 4-1: The Indians made it two straight innings with a long ball off Felix Doubront.
Nick Swisher led off the sixth with his seventh home run of the season. Doubront tried to elevate a 2-2 fastball, but he didn’t get it up high enough, and Swisher drove it over everything in left field.
Doubront retired the next three hitters — Mark Reynolds, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley — in order, but Swisher’s home run was a rocket.
David Ortiz described his own home run on Wednesday night as, “fastball in, fastball out.” That pretty much sums up Swisher’s blast as well.
End 5th, Indians 3-1: Indians starter Corey Kluber deserves credit. Aside from the third-inning blemish, he’s pitched very well.
Kluber picked up two more strikeouts in the fifth inning. He sat down Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Carp, and he now has seven K’s total.
Stephen Drew flied out to right field to end the inning.
Mid 5th, Indians 3-1: The fans got riled up in the fifth inning when Terry Francona came out to argue a call. It actually may have overshadowed the inning’s true highlight.
Michael Bourn tried to drop down a bunt with one out, and the ball came up and hit him. Bourn was already out of the batter’s box when he made contact with the ball, so home plate umpire Chris Guccione correctly ruled him out.
Francona wanted to have a little conversation with Guccione, though, and he emerged from the Indians’ dugout to a loud ovation. The Fenway Faithful then chanted “Tito!” while Francona walked back to the dugout.
That got people talking, but it wasn’t the most important moment of the inning. With the crowd still buzzing, Jason Kipnis ripped a home run down the right-field line. It might be impossible to hit a shorter home run out of the park. The ball dropped in the first row, right near Pesky’s Pole.
End 4th, Indians 2-1: Corey Kluber had a nice bounce-back inning in the fourth.
Kluber retired the Red Sox in order an inning after surrendering his first run of the game.
Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each grounded out, and Mike Napoli struck out swinging. Napoli has struck out twice in this game.
The highlight of the frame came on Ortiz’s groundout. The Indians had the shift on, and the slugger grounded Kluber’s offering back up the middle. Third baseman Mark Reynolds made a nice sliding stop while ranging to his left. Reynolds spun and fired to first, where he retired Ortiz with plenty of time to spare.
Mid 4th, Indians 2-1: Felix Doubront is settling down a bit. The lefty tossed his second straight perfect inning in the fourth.
Carlos Santana grounded out to second base to lead off the inning, and Felix Doubront then struck out Michael Brantley to pick up his seventh K of the game.
The inning ended with a hot shot back to the mound from Mike Aviles. Doubront got a glove on it and knocked it down, and he then picked it up and fired to first to end the inning.
End 3rd, Indians 2-1: Stephen Drew snapped an 0-for-17 skid, and then came around with Boston’s first run.
Drew ripped a fastball down the line for a leadoff double, ending what has been a very rough stretch. The shortstop sat on Saturday, but he was hitless in his last five games. That was after hitting .326 during the 12 games prior.
Jose Iglesias, meanwhile, keeps finding ways to get on base. The new king of the infield single was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with no outs.
Indians starter Corey Kluber benefited from a double play to alleviate some of the pressure, but the pressure was right back on when Daniel Nava smacked a ball off the Green Monster.
Nava was thrown out at second base trying to stretch the hit into a double, but Drew scored the Red Sox’ first run.
Mid 3rd, Indians 2-0: Felix Doubront needed that.
After tossing 54 pitches through the first two innings, Doubront needed just 13 — low by his standards — to retire the side in the third. More importantly, he seemed to find a rhythm en route to enjoying his first 1-2-3 inning of the game.
Doubront struck out Asdrubal Cabrera and Nick Swisher — a couple of proven veterans — on four pitches. He sat both guys down swinging, too, which is encouraging given Doubront’s trouble putting hitters away recently.
Doburont started to revert back to his old ways against Mark Reynolds, falling behind in the count 3-0. But he delivered a strike on 3-0, and then got Reynolds to ground a 3-1 pitch to second base.
End 2nd, Indians 2-0: Corey Kluber has looked good early on.
Kluber struck out Mike Napoli and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to begin the second inning, giving him four K’s for the game.
Mike Carp made solid contact, but Mike Aviles took care of business at short to end the inning.
Mid 2nd, Indians 2-0: If there’s one thing you’re going to get with Felix Doubront, it’s lengthy innings.
Doubront worked deep into counts again in the second, and his pitch count is already up to 54 through two innings.
Doubront retired Michael Brantley on a ground out, and then walked Mike Aviles and Drew Stubbs. Doubront got to two strikes on both hitters — even having Stubbs in an 0-2 hole — but he ultimately lost them to put himself into some trouble.
Doubront managed to escape the inning by striking out both Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis. Bourn couldn’t check his swing on a curveball in the dirt, and Kipnis fanned on a cutter on the corner.
All in all, it was a typical Doubront inning. Two walks, two strikeouts, a whole lot of pitches, and a few moans and groans.
End 1st, Indians 2-0: The idea is to work everything off your fastball, and Corey Kluber did an excellent job of that in the first inning.
Kluber struck out both Jacoby Ellsbury and Daniel Nava to begin the inning. He set both guys up with his fastball before eventually going with his curveball down and out of the zone to pick up the two strikeouts.
Dustin Pedroia found himself in a two-strike count as well, but he worked his way back to earn a walk.
David Ortiz ended the inning by rolling a slider over to second base. Mike Aviles, who was pulled over to the right side because of the shift, ranged to his left to make the play.
Mid 1st, Indians 2-0: That was an interesting start.
Felix Doubront was, well, Felix Doubront in the first inning, and a defensive miscue proved costly for the Red Sox. Both runs that scored were unearned.
Michael Bourn, who is back in his traditional leadoff role, put an inside-out swing on a fastball, and dropped it into left field for a base hit.
Things got hairy for Boston when Jason Kipnis hit a fly ball to center field. Stephen Drew raced out and Jacoby Ellsbury raced in, and Ellsbury eventually dropped the ball. Kipnis reached at first base, and Bourn, who had to hold up at second base, wasn’t able to advance.
Ellsbury was charged with the error for dropping the baseball, but I think Drew deserves a lot of the blame here as well. He went out a long way and pulled away from Ellsbury, who appeared to call for it, at the last second. The two nearly collided on a ball that should have been Ellsbury’s all along.
Doubront made matters worse by dancing around the strike zone, although he almost got out of the jam. Doubront picked up two strikeouts — with a Nick Swisher single mixed in — but the Indians pushed across two runs when Carlos Santana ripped a ball into the left-center field gap.
1:38 p.m.: Felix Doubront’s first pitch is way high. We’re off and running at Fenway.
1:24 p.m.: There’s some level of intrigue that comes with each Felix Doubront start. The lefty always seems to live on the edge, and it’s always a matter of whether or not he can survive the momentary lapses of control, and whether or not he can find ways to put hitters away once he gets ahead of them.
Doubront gave just two runs over six innings in Chicago on Tuesday, and that marked the second straight game he allowed just two earned runs. He also allowed two runs against the Rays on May 16. Even when things end well, though, Doubront leaves something to be desired, so it’ll be interesting to see what he has up his sleeve in this one.
It sounded for a bit like John Farrell was losing patience with Doubront, mostly because the lefty’s struggles were so hard to pinpoint. Doubront has been healthy all season, so it was difficult to figure out exactly why his velocity, and thus effectiveness, was lacking. Farrell seems to think Doubront has made progress of late, though.
“Prior to the last two starts he and [pitching coach] Juan [Nieves] did some work in the bullpen just to get his lower half on line as far creating more arm speed and better finish to his stuff in the strike zone,” Farell said before Sunday’s game. “He just built upon what started in Tampa. The best part is the way he speaks when we ask questions and the confidence he shows is an insight on how he feels about himself and the adjustments that have been made. He and Juan are onto something here and hopefully that continues to build.”
12:45 p.m.: John Farrell said that Franklin Morales will likely be activated on Tuesday. At that point, Morales is expected to join the bullpen despite being stretched out as a starter during his rehab stint.
It’s unclear what the Red Sox will do as far as a corresponding roster move, but my guess is that both Alfredo Aceves and Alex Wilson will be optioned at some point in the coming week. Not only is Morales coming back, but the Red Sox also would ideally like to call up an outfielder in Shane Victorino’s absence — perhaps Jackie Bradley Jr.
12:20 p.m.: Mike Carp has been swinging the bat well, and he has a good track record against the Indians. That means he’ll be in the starting lineup with right-hander Corey Kluber on the hill.
Stephen Drew, who received Saturday off, will return to the lineup and man his usual shortstop position on Sunday. That will shift Jose Iglesias back over to third base. Iglesias played short in Drew’s absence, and he’ll now start his third straight game overall.
Sunday’s complete lineups are below.
Red Sox (30-20)
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Daniel Nava, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Mike Carp, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Jose Iglesias, 3B
Felix Doubront, LHP (3-2, 5.61 ERA)
Michael Bourn, CF
Jason Kipnis, 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera, DH
Nick Swisher, 1B
Mark Reynolds, 3B
Carlos Santana, C
Michael Brantley, LF
Mike Aviles, SS
Drew Stubbs, RF
Corey Kluber, RHP (3-3, 5.19 ERA)
8 a.m. ET: Good teams have players who pick each other up when the circumstances are less than ideal. On Saturday, Jon Lester didn’t have his best stuff, but the Red Sox’ offense came up with a huge four-run rally in the eighth inning to ensure the club still took home a win.
The Red Sox have now taken two straight against the Indians after getting blown out on Friday — the night of Terry Francona’s emotional Fenway Park return. They’ll now turn to Felix Doubront as they look to make it three straight against the Tribe.
Doubront has had a rollercoaster season, with his struggles due largely to a lack of control. He often finds himself laboring through at-bats and, inherently, innings early on, which causes his pitch count to soar. The left-hander will look to avoid such a tightrope walk on Sunday.
Pedro Ciriaco and Jose Iglesias provided a spark in Saturday’s win, while Stephen Drew got the day off, and Mike Carp came up with another big hit. It’ll be interesting to see how manager John Farrell fills out his lineup card on Sunday.
The action at Fenway is scheduled to start up at 1:35 p.m. Be sure to tune in on NESN, and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.