The Cleveland Indians drew first blood in the clash of division leaders.
In the series opener of a four-game set Monday, the Tribe beat the Red Sox 5-4 at Fenway Park, handing Boston its second straight loss.
The Red Sox gave themselves a three-run cushion early, but watched it slip away as the Indians smacked three home runs off starter Rick Porcello.
With the loss, the Red Sox fell to 88-38, while the Indians climbed to 72-52.
Here’s how it went down:
GAME IN A WORD
The Sox looked to be in the driver’s seat, but the Indians rattled off a bunch of dingers to change the complexion of the game real quick.
ON THE BUMP
— Porcello pitched well during the opening frames, but things unraveled as he went deeper. In total, he allowed five runs — all on homers — over seven innings, giving up six hits with as many strikeouts and one walk.
The right-hander got off to a pretty good start, posting 1-2-3 innings in the first, third and fourth.
But things began to go a haywire in the fifth, with Porcello serving up a solo shot to Melky Cabrera to cut Boston’s lead to 3-1. Then with one on and one out in the sixth, Michael Brantley put a game-tying blast into the Indians bullpen.
Then with one runner on in the seventh, Porcello gave up a two-run round-tripper to Greg Allen, putting the Indians ahead 5-3.
— Tyler Thornburg handled the eighth and allowed a leadoff single before retiring the next three hitters, punching out one.
— Drew Pomeranz struck out one in a 1-2-3 ninth.
IN THE BATTER’S BOX
— The Red Sox gave themselves a little bit of a cushion in the early innings, beginning with a two-run first.
Mitch Moreland drilled a two-out single, and J.D. Martinez followed up with a double, moving Moreland to third. Xander Bogaerts cleared the bases with a double, putting the Sox ahead 2-0.
— Boston added one more in the second, with Jackie Bradley Jr. smashing a two-out double. Mookie Betts put runners on the corners with a single, and Andrew Benintendi brought Bradley home with a single of his own, upping the lead to 3-0.
— Betts gave the Red Sox a chance in the ninth, beginning the frame with a double. Indians closer Cody Allen walked Benintendi, but the Sox left fielder was thrown out at second the next play on a Moreland fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners. Martinez recorded the second out with a pop out to first, but Bogaerts plated a run and kept the game alive with an infield single, making it 5-4. Ian Kinsler ended the game the next at-bat, flying out to left.
— Betts, Martinez, Bogaerts and Bradley finished the night with a pair of hits.
— Benintendi, Moreland, Kinsler and Brock Holt all had one hit, as did Steve Pearce in his pinch-hit at-bat.
— Sandy Leon went hitless. Pinch hitter Eduardo Nunez also was unable to register a hit.
TWEET OF THE DAY
Gotta love the commitment.
The Red Sox and Indians will continue their four-game set Tuesday evening. Nathan Eovaldi is set to get the ball for Boston and will be opposed by Shane Bieber. First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images