Kluber extends Tribe's winning streak to five

Kluber extends Tribe's winning streak to five

BOSTON -- Corey Kluber navigated out of some early trouble to turn in a strong start on Friday night, leading the Indians to a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

After giving up two runs over the first two innings, Kluber was unscored on for the rest of his performance. Over seven innings,the righty scattered five hits and two runs while walking two and striking out six.

"Early on, they were getting their hits and they scored a couple," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And then when we scored, [Kluber] went out there and really started getting after it. He used his changeup. He pitched in. That was good to see. That's what your ace is supposed to do, but it's easier said than done. That's a heck of a lineup and he really did a good job."

Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 25 games, the longest in the Major Leagues this season, when he clubbed a leadoff homer to center in the second.

Bradley Jr.'s solo shot

"Got to play the course," said Bradley. "I think the wind was blowing out today, so figured get in there and have a chance."

Jason Kipnis drilled a three-run homer in the third to give the Indians the lead. Jose Ramirez lofted a sacrifice fly to give Cleveland four runs in the inning against Clay Buchholz.

Boston's right-hander was haunted by that one tough inning. Buchholz turned in a quality start, allowing five hits and three earned runs over six innings.

"All in all it wasn't a terrible outing, but it's hard to swallow getting beat on home runs every time out," said Buchholz. "Keep pushing along and find a way to get through it."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Electric slide: Francisco Lindor used a creative slide to score from third on a sacrifice fly by Ramirez in the third. As the throw came in from Bradley in center, Lindor dove through the plate head first, rolling onto his left side to move his right arm up and out of the way of the tag attempt by catcher Christian Vazquez. As the shortstop dodged Vazquez's glove, he touched the plate with his left hand. When home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild called Lindor safe, the shortstop jumped into the air and pumped his fist in celebration.

Lindor's acrobatic slide

"I was very, very pumped, as you saw," Lindor said. "Running in, I saw [Vazquez] going to my right, so I tried to go to my left. As soon as I hit the ground, all I thought was try to get that right hand up. I screamed, 'Safe!' And as soon as I saw him moving his hands and saying safe, I just went crazy."

According to Statcast™, Lindor hit a top speed of 20.8 mph on his dash home, and Bradley's throw of 247 feet registered 96.9 mph. More >

Red Sox have record HR streak: Bradley's shot in the second extended Boston's team streak of at least one home run to 20 games, a franchise record. The 1996 Red Sox held the previous mark of 19. The 2013 Mariners were the last MLB team to homer in at least 20 straight games, as they went deep in 23 consecutive games.

Fenway kind to Kip: Kipnis headed into Friday's game with a .952 career OPS at Fenway Park. The second baseman built on that success in the third inning, when he pulled a Buchholz pitch down the right-field line for a three-run home run. That shot was Kipnis' sixth in 19 career games in Boston, and pushed the Indians ahead, 3-2.

Kipnis' three-run homer

"One good swing tonight kind of changed the game," Francona said. "It's interesting, because he's such a good hitter in that situation, where he can lay a bunt down and I know he was thinking about it. But he got a fastball. They were trying to go in and they didn't quite get it in far enough. Fortunately for us, that changes the game."

Swihart handles chances in LF: In his return to the Red Sox, Blake Swihart looked comfortable in his first start in left field, handling the four fly balls that were hit to him. At the plate, the switch-hitter went 0-for-3.

Swihart's running grab

"He handled the chances he had cleanly," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He wasn't really tested in terms of any kind of throws. It's him getting acclimated to the position." More >

QUOTABLE
"That's a great job by the offense to go out and put up four runs in one inning. I personally didn't change anything. I was trying to keep pitching the same way that I was early on. I didn't get great results the first two innings, but I was trying to pitch in and I felt like we did that enough early on to kind of open up some other pitches later in the game." -- Kluber

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Bradley's streak is the longest by a Red Sox player within a single season since Dustin Pedroia in 2011. David Ortiz hit in 27 straight over two seasons (2012-13).

TEK, WAKE, LUCCHINO HONORED
A day after Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield, Larry Lucchino and the late Ira Flagstaff were inducted into the Red Sox's Hall of Fame, they were recognized in a pregame ceremony. Lucchino was first to walk on the red carpet on to the field. Wakefield and Varitek soon followed, to the delight of the roaring crowd. The men participated in a group first pitch, with Varitek throwing to Ryan Hanigan, Lucchino throwing to Dustin Pedroia and Wakefield fittingly tossing his to fellow knuckleballer Steven Wright.

2016 Red Sox Hall of Fame class

WHAT'S NEXT
Indians: Right-hander Trevor Bauer (3-1, 3.89 ERA) is scheduled to take the ball for the Tribe in a 4:05 p.m. ET clash with the Red Sox on Saturday at Fenway Park. So far this month, Bauer has fashioned a 2.79 ERA and a .162 opponents' average in three starts, striking out 19 in 19 1/3 innings in that span for Cleveland.

Red Sox: Right-hander Joe Kelly makes his return from the disabled list to start Saturday's game against the Indians. Kelly had been sidelined since April 20 with a right shoulder impingement. Kelly made three starts before the injury and didn't go more than five innings in any of them.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.