When Chris Sale is on the mound, the last thing you’d expect was a slugfest. And when Craig Kimbrel takes the mound with a one-run lead at Fenway Park, the last thing you’d expect was a blown save.
All of that happened Tuesday night, yet the Boston Red Sox still went home happy thanks to Christian Vazquez’s three-run, walk-off home run, which lifted the Sox to a wild 12-10 win over the Cleveland Indians.
Boston improved to 59-49 with the win, while Cleveland dropped to 57-48.
Here’s how this one went down.
GAME IN A WORD
This was the worst Sale has pitched in a Red Sox uniform, and Kimbrel was off his game, too. But none of that matters in the final score.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Vazquez hit the walk-off homer.
ON THE BUMP
— Sale was very un-Chris Sale like early on.
The first three batters reached via singles, the third of which knocked in Cleveland’s first run of the night. And after two straight outs, the Indians made it 3-0 on Carlos Santana’s two-run double.
The lead then swelled to 5-0 in the second thanks to Brandon Guyer’s two-run home run. Yan Gomes, who walked to lead off the frame, also scored on the homer.
Sale settled down for the next two innings, but he ran into more trouble in the fifth. He got the first two batters out, but Jose Ramirez extended the inning with a double, and he trotted home on Edwin Encarnacion’s two-run home run, which made it 7-5 Cleveland.
It should be noted that Sale’s usual catcher, Sandy Leon, still is sidelined with a knee injury following his dramatic game-winning slide Saturday night, which meant Christian Vazquez got the start behind the plate.
But, still, that doesn’t solely explain allowing seven earned runs on eight hits with one walk while striking out five over five innings.
— Blaine Boyer came on in relief and got into a bases-loaded jam, but he got out of the inning thanks to a double play.
— Matt Barnes pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
— Addison Reed allowed a home run to Santana, the first batter he faced in a Sox uniform, but he was lights out the rest of the eighth.
— Kimbrel had all sorts of trouble in a rough ninth inning. The Sox entered the top of the ninth with a one-run lead after trailing for most of the night, but Francisco Lindor hit a solo home run, and Jose Ramirez scored on a Kimbrel wild pitch to give Cleveland a one-run edge.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Sox made it a whole new ballgame in the bottom of the second, though, as they scored five runs and chased Carlos Carrasco from the game. Mitch Moreland followed a Rafael Devers walk and Xander Bogaerts double with a three-run home run, his first in quite a while.
Brock Holt later singled in Vazquez, and Eduardo Nunez tied the game with an RBI double. Holt also tried to score on Nunez’s double, but he once again was thrown out at home.
— It appeared as though Boston would tack on another run thanks to a Hanley Ramirez drive to the bullpen, but Austin Jackson made one of the best catches Fenway Park has ever seen.
— The Sox took a 9-7 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning thanks to a four-run outburst. Mookie Betts drove in the first run on an RBI single, and Nunez drove in three runs with a triple.
— Boston entered the bottom of the ninth trailing by one, but it got runners on second and third with two outs, and Vazquez followed with the blast to center field.
TWEET OF THE DAY
The legend of Devers continues to grow.
The Red Sox will wrap up their series against the Indians on Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Right-hander Rick Porcello is scheduled to take the mound for Boston opposite Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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