The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Indians top Red Sox to take series finale
BOSTON — Franmil Reyes homered over the Green Monster to spark a three-run third inning — Cleveland’s franchiserecord tying 19th straight game with a home run — and the Indians salvaged the finale of the series with an 11-5 victory over the COVID-impacted Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
Reyes added a two-run double and went 4 for 4, and Bradley Zimmer had a tworun single for the Indians, who matched their singleseason record streak of homering in consecutive games, set in May of 2000.
“Sometimes you just need that breather,” Indians interim manager DeMarlo Hale said of Reyes, who was just 1 for 20 before a pinchhit, game-tying homer on Saturday.
J.D. Martinez hit a tworun homer and had three RBIs, and Hunter Renfroe added three hits for the Red Sox, who had their fourgame winning streak halted.
The Red Sox scratched scheduled starter Nick Pivetta before the game, placing him on the COVID-19-related injured list. About 30 minutes before the first pitch, they added infielder/outfielder Danny Santana to the list, giving
them 11 players — six position and five pitchers — in the last 10 days.
Cleveland led 6-0 after three innings before the Red Sox rallied, slicing it to 6-5 on Martinez’s shot.
Reyes’ double came in the ninth when Cleveland pulled away with five runs.
“It’s more confidence at the plate,” Reyes said. “I think the way my coaches talked to me, it was more about the mechanics and me trusting myself. I think it was that.”
Boston had a walk-off win on Saturday after rallying late in the series opener.
Zach Plesac (10-4) gave up three runs in five innings, improving to 6-1 since coming off the IL after breaking his thumb May 23. Emmanuel Clase got the final four outs for his 21st save.
“There were a couple of breaks that inning that could have been outs,” Plesac said of the fifth. “Different things that weren’t going my way. It just came down to making a pitch.”
Hale felt like Plesac still looked good despite Boston scoring three in the fifth.
“He ran into trouble in the fifth, but I thought that he was competing and trying to make pitches,” Hale said. “I just felt good about him, just ‘Get through it.’ … I thought it was a good opportunity for him to get through it and he did.”
Making his major league debut, Red Sox starter Kutter Crawford (0-1) was pulled with no outs in the third after allowing five runs on five hits.
“He filled up the strikezone with good stuff,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “It’s not easy to come into a situation like this and maneuver a big-league lineup.”
Crawford found after Saturday’s minor league game that he’d be starting in the majors.
“It’s kind of been a crazy 24 hours. I was kind of uncertain what the plan was with all the COVID stuff,” he said. “I was told to kind of be on standby. After the game I was told I was starting today. I tried to get as much sleep as possible. Obviously, I was super excited. … Unfortunately, it didn’t go as I wanted it to, but we live and we learn and we’re going to make adjustments and move forward.”
Leading 3-0 in the third, Reyes’ leadoff shot, estimated at 419 feet, completely left Fenway Park.
Crawford walked the next batter before John Schreiber relieved in his Red Sox debut, allowing Zimmer’s broken-bat, loop single to left that made it 6-0.
Martinez and Travis Shaw each had an RBI double in Boston’s three-run fifth, with Shaw’s missing a three-run homer by about a foot when it hit near the top of the right-field wall.
Indians: INF Jose Ramirez got the day off with “general soreness.” . RHP Aaron Civale is slated to start Tuesday at home against Minnesota. He had been sidelined since June 24 with a sprained right middle finger and made three rehab starts, his last Wednesday with Double-A Akron when he gave two runs with six strikeouts in five innings.
Red Sox: Cora said INF/ OF Kike Hernandez (COVID-IL) was back in Boston after being quarantined in Cleveland. “He has to go through some tests, heartrelated, that’s the protocol,” Cora said. “At the latest, I think he’s with us Wednesday, most likely Tuesday.” . 3B Rafael Devers was going to get the day off but struck out pinch hitting with two runners on in the fifth. “It just makes sense,” Cora said of his planned day off. “It’s probably his last day off of the season.” . LHP Darwinzon Hernandez (right oblique strain) started to throw a live BP Sunday, but it looked like it could have been cut short when the grounds’ crew had to put the tarp on due to light rain.
Indians: LHP Logan Allen (1-5, 6.62 ERA) is set to start the opener of a fourgame series at home against the Twins. RHP Bailey Ober (2-2, 3.98) is slated to go for Minnesota.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (3-0, 2.53) is scheduled to make his fifth start since Tommy John surgery, facing the AL East-leading Rays on Monday afternoon at Fenway.