By Ian Browne and Jordan Bastian
MLB.com |@IanMBrowne |
BOSTON -- Facing an offense that scored 45 runs in the previous three games, right-hander Danny Salazar turned in a dominant performance while leading the Indians to an 8-2 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.
"He did a really good job," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He worked ahead all night and he had one walk. He kept it at one and let our offense kick into gear. We had the one really good inning where we batted around and kind of kept the line moving, and had good at-bats. But, it starts with Danny."
The only momentum the Red Sox had was in the third, when Travis Shaw broke a scoreless tie with a solo shot to right. Salazar picked up his 11th win with his seven-inning performance, which gave him a 1.45 ERA and .147 opponents' batting average over his past seven starts.
"I'm pretty confident," Salazar said. "Every time I go out there, I feel really strong and I'm ready to compete."
The Indians scored five in the fourth against Matt Barnes, and were in control for the rest of the night. Lonnie Chisenhall led the charge, going 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs and three RBIs. Carlos Santana added his 13th home run.
In his first career start, Barnes gave up six hits and six runs in five innings, walking three and striking out seven.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Bases unloaded: Hitting with the bags full has been a problem (.149 average, entering Monday) for the Indians. In the fourth. Chisenhall did his part to correct the trend, slicing a pitch to deep left field, where Boston's Hanley Ramirez could not come up with a catch as the ball clanked off the wall for a two-run double.
"That was a huge at-bat he had," Francona said. "He fouled off some fastballs and got to an offspeed pitch and hit it off the wall, and that kind of got things moving for us."
Betts robs Brantley: When it isn't Jackie Bradley Jr. making a great catch for the Red Sox, it is Mookie Betts. The young center fielder raced to the gap in left-center in the fifth and snared a line drive off the bat of Michael Brantley. Betts was at full extension when he caught the ball. More >
Santana's shot: One pitch after Betts' highlight-reel dive, Santana put one out of the center fielder's reach. Santana drilled the first pitch he saw from Barnes into the home bullpen for a solo homer to extend Cleveland's lead to 6-1. Santana also singled and scored as part of the Tribe's five-run outburst in the fourth.
Barnes struggles in first start: Barnes was hoping to impress in his first Major League start. Instead, he couldn't minimize the damage in a rocky fourth, getting tagged for five runs. The righty had some other good moments before that, but it was a tough night overall. In five innings, Barnes threw 102 pitches, 64 of them for strikes.
"I thought Matt threw the ball really, really well," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "He gave us everything we expected. He was commanding his fastball. Everything was crisp and downhill. He was effective. He did his job for us tonight." More >
"The strikeouts, they are going down, and the innings, they are going up. That's what we're trying to do right now. Attack the game, try to get quick innings and that's it." -- Salazar
"I'm never surprised. He's such a good hitter. ... It's just nice to have him back. Him sitting in that three hole, it's a nice guy to have sitting there. He's so professional in the way he hits." --Francona, on Brantley, who had two hits in his first game since Thursday
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Shaw is the third Red Sox left-handed hitter to hit as many as five homers in his first 21 games, joining Fred Lynn (1975) and Sam Horn (1987).
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In the sixth, when Chisenhall struck one to deep right, Bradley went back to the wall and then climbed on top of it, only to watch the drive sail into the bleachers. Bradley showed amazing grace in the pursuit, and landed softly into the bullpen.
"Yeah, I kind of bounded on to the wall and see if I can get a better angle at it," Bradley said. "It was still out of my reach, so I just went on and jumped over."
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Right-hander Trevor Bauer (9-9, 4.35 ERA) will take the ball for the Tribe in Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. ET meeting with the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Bauer has given up 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings in his past two starts, but perhaps a road outing will get him back on track. The righty has a 2.35 ERA on the road (10 starts), compared to a 6.07 ERA at home (13 starts) this season.
Red Sox: Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez (6-5, 4.83) draws the assignment on Tuesday against the Indians. After a sensational start to the season, Rodriguez has been inconsistent of late. Last time out against the Marlins, Rodriguez gave up nine hits and eight runs over five innings. In seven starts at Fenway, Rodriguez is 3-2 with a 5.35 ERA.