BOSTON — The Cleveland Indians cooled off the Red Sox’s red-hot offense Monday night, but they were unable to slow down Travis Shaw.
Shaw went 2-for-4 with a home run and drove in both Boston runs in an eventual 8-2 loss at Fenway Park. It was his third four-hit effort in the last four games, while the Red Sox as a team finished with just six hits total.
“He’s a beast,” outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said after the game. “He’s really swinging the bat well. That’s what I’ve seen all the time. He’s a very special player.”
Shaw has pounded the ball since his most recent major league call-up. He’s posted a .359/.395/.718 slash line thus far in the month of April, and six of his 14 hits have gone for extra bases.
Those numbers are drastically different than the ones he put up in Triple-A earlier this season (.249/.318/.356 in 77 games with Pawtucket), but Bradley, who played with the corner infielder at both levels, had a simple explanation.
“He’s hitting good pitches,” Bradley said. “Things are going really well. He’s swinging at good pitches, and he’s making pitchers work. He’s putting together great at-bats.”
Some additional Monday notes:
— Shaw now has five home runs in his first 21 major league games — a club very few left-handed Red Sox hitters are a part of:
The only three lefites in Red Sox history with five homers in first 21 career games: Fred Lynn, Sam Horn, Travis Shaw. Thanks @Shesta_Sox—
Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) August 18, 2015
— The Red Sox made two roster moves Monday, recalling right-handers Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree from Triple-A and optioning infielder Garin Cecchini and right-hander Ryan Cook.
Barnes and Hembree both saw action Monday night, with the former starting the game for the Red Sox and the latter entering as Boston’s first reliever.
Barnes, who was making the first start of his major league career, pitched five innings and allowed six earned runs — five of which came in the fourth — to take the loss.
“I thought Matt threw the ball really, really well,” acting Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo said. “He gave us everything we expected with commanding his fastball. Everything was crisp and downhill. He was effective. He did his job for us (Monday night). Unfortunately, there was a little hiccup there with the five-run inning, and we just couldn’t seem to rebound from that.”
Hembree allowed a leadoff home run in the sixth but otherwise was solid in 2 1/3 innings of work.
— Dustin Pedroia took batting practice Monday for the first time since a hamstring injury sent him to the disabled list in late July. Pedroia is not expected to see game action until September at the earliest, but Lovullo said the fiercely competitive second baseman already is clamoring to get back on the field.
“According to him, he’s ready to go,” Lovullo said. “We all know and love Dustin, and we have just got to kind of downplay that and slow things down.
“He is right on schedule as far as his rehab and strength. He is ready to take the next step, and what that is is determined by what happened today. He will come in (Tuesday), fill in a couple gaps and push forward with him.”
— Andrew Benintendi, the Red Sox’s top pick in this year’s draft, made his Single-A debut Monday, going 0-for-4 with two walks as the Greenville Drive defeated the Greensboro Grasshoppers 5-4 in 13 innings.
The 21-year-old outfielder played 35 games with the Lowell Spinners of the short-season New York-Penn League before his call-up, posting a .281/.405/.523 slash line with seven home runs and 15 RBIs.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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