The Boston Red Sox have gotten used to Chris Sale dominating any time he takes the mound, but that certainly was not the case Thursday night.
The left-hander was shelled by the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field, allowing six runs on seven hits over just three innings of work in Boston’s 13-6 loss in the series finale.
The Red Sox had a modest night at the plate, including strong efforts from Mitch Moreland and Xander Bogaerts, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make up for Boston’s lackluster pitching.
With the loss, the Red Sox fall to 73-54, while the Indians improve to 70-56.
Here’s how it all went down.
GAME IN A WORD
There wasn’t much to get excited about for the Red Sox. All five pitchers used struggled on the mound, and two errors were committed in the field.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
The Indians jumped out to a 7-1 lead just three innings into the game. Though insurance runs weren’t really needed, Cleveland added six more to the scoreboard just for good measure.
ON THE BUMP
— The Indians nearly cracked the scoreboard in the first inning, but a terrific diving catch from Mookie Betts saved a run. The second inning, however, was a much different story.
Sale allowed a leadoff single to Jay Bruce, followed by a Brandon Guyer base knock and Yandy Diaz walk. With the bases loaded, Roberto Perez brought in Cleveland’s first run with an RBI single. The Indians plated their second run a batter later when a Giovanny Urshela ground out brought home Guyer.
The Indians weren’t done in the frame, though, as Fransisco Lindor laced an RBI single to swell the lead to 3-0. The messy inning got even worse when a Rafael Devers throwing error allowed Urshela to score the Indians’ fourth run. Sale finally escaped the dreadful frame by getting Jose Ramirez to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The third wasn’t much better for Sale, as he walked two of the first three batters faced in the inning. Diaz then capitalized by smacking a one-out RBI double to push across Cleveland’s fifth run. Sale nearly limited the damage in the third to just one run, but Urshela had a different idea when he roped a two-out, two-RBI single to give the Indians a six-run lead.
— Heath Hembree entered in the fourth after Sale’s short outing and posted a scoreless inning. The fifth wouldn’t be as kind to Hembree, as Urshela tagged the right-hander for an RBI single for Cleveland’s eighth run. Red Sox manager John Farrell then yanked Hembree from the game with only one out in the inning.
— Brandon Workman recorded the final two outs of the fifth. He stayed on for the sixth inning and logged one out before Bruce’s solo shot pushed across the Indians’ ninth run. With two outs in the inning, Workman allowed a triple to Diaz, followed by a Perez double, which forced the right-hander out of the game.
— Blaine Boyer notched the final out of the sixth inning. The right-hander stayed on for the seventh and allowed a leadoff home run to Lindor and then loaded the bases before being pulled with no outs in the frame.
— Fernando Abad allowed two inherited runners to score before getting the Red Sox out of the seventh. The left-hander stayed on for the eighth and hurled a scoreless inning.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— Moreland (3-for-4) blasted two home runs and collected four RBIs.
— Bogaets went 2-for-3 on the night with a two-RBI triple in the fourth inning.
— Eduardo Nunez went 2-for-5 with two singles.
— Mookie Betts smacked a double in the fourth as part of his 1-for-4 effort at the plate.
— Andrew Benintendi went 1-for-5 with a single.
— Hanley Ramirez, Rafael Devers, Sandy Leon and Brock Holt all went hitless in the game.
TWEET OF THE DAY
It didn’t take long for Rajai Davis to get comfortable with his new team.
The Red Sox open up a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night. Rick Porcello will get the start for Boston and be opposed by Baltimore’s Jeremy Hellickson. First pitch from Fenway Park is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images