BOSTON — It doesn’t happen often these days, but the Red Sox’s bats failed to deliver at Fenway Park on Friday.
The Red Sox plated two runs in the first two innings but didn’t score again, as Jason Kipnis’ three-run home run in the third inning was enough to lift the Cleveland Indians to a 4-2 win in the first installment of the teams’ three-game weekend series.
Boston right-hander Clay Buchholz allowed all four of Cleveland’s runs in the third inning to drop to 2-4 on the season, while Indians starter Corey Kluber silenced the Red Sox’s high powered offense to pick up his third win of 2016.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
Kipnis changed the complexion of the game with one swing of the bat, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 Cleveland lead with his third-inning blast. The Red Sox couldn’t recover from that blow, mustering just two hits over the final seven innings.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
David Ortiz grounded into a double play to end the eighth inning.
Down two runs, the Red Sox threatened in the eighth with a Dustin Pedroia leadoff single. But Xander Bogaerts grounded into a fielder’s choice and Ortiz hit into a twin killing that squashed any chance of a rally.
ON THE BUMP
— Buchholz was serviceable outside of a brutal third inning, which saw him surrender four runs on Kipnis’ three-run homer and a Jose Ramirez sacrifice fly. The right-hander didn’t allow a run outside that frame, however, and retired seven of the last eight batters he faced. Buchholz gave up four runs (three earned) in six innings to earn a quality start by definition, but he struggled with control, issuing four walks to three strikeouts.
— Tommy Layne retired the leadoff man in the seventh and exited after allowing a single to Kipnis.
— Matt Barnes got the final two outs of the seventh and issued one walk during a scoreless eighth frame.
— Robbie Ross Jr. allowed a base hit and struck out two in the ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox struck first when Mookie Betts laced a leadoff double and scored on a Bogaerts groundout in the opening frame.
— Jackie Bradley Jr. wasted no time extending his hitting streak to 25 games, blasting a solo home run to dead center in the second inning. It’s just the 16th hit streak of 25 games or more in franchise history.
— Bradley’s shot gave the Red Sox a homer in 20 straight contests, a new team record. Boston’s previous record for most consecutive games with a long ball was 19, set in 1996.
— The Red Sox’s bats went quiet in the middle innings. They managed just three baserunners over the next five frames, as Indians starter Corey Kluber retired 16 of the last 19 batters he faced.
— Recent Triple-A call-up Marco Hernandez pinch hit for Christian Vazquez with two outs and a runner on in the ninth but struck out to end the game.
— Betts finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and now has a 10-game hitting streak at Fenway Park.
— Hanley Ramirez went 1-for-4 and now has reached base in 25 consecutive games, hitting safely in 23 of those contests.
— Bogaerts (1-for-4) extended his hitting streak to a career-long 14 games with a double off the Green Monster in the fifth.
TWEET OF THE NIGHT
Sometimes numbers can be a bit deceiving.
Right-handed pitcher Joe Kelly is expected to return from his disabled list stint Saturday, getting the start in the second game of the Red Sox’s three-game set with the Indians. Cleveland will counter with right-hander Trevor Bauer. First pitch at Fenway is set for 4:05 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis (22) rounds the bases after hitting a three run home run against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Fenway Park.