By Jordan Bastian and Deesha Thosar
MLB.com |@MLBastian |
BOSTON -- The Red Sox made Danny Salazar work and then they made him pay. Powered by another big day from David Ortiz, Boston picked up a 5-2 victory over the Indians on Sunday afternoon at Fenway Park to win the three-game series.
Ortiz drove in three runs and collected four hits, including his 514th home run, to help the Red Sox chase Salazar after 109 pitches and 4 1/3 innings. Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 27 games with a single to right that knocked Salazar out in the fifth.
"It's pretty special," Bradley said about the Red Sox's offensive surge. "Guys who are swinging the bat are relentless. I think it just goes to say that every single person's buying in, sticking with their approach and trying to be a tough out."
Needing a triple for a cycle, Ortiz sent a pitch from Austin Adams to the center-field triangle in the eighth. The crowd roared with anticipation of a possible three-base hit, but the baseball rattled around the wall and bounced into the stands for his second ground-rule double.
"I wish he would've retired last year," Indians manager Terry Francona quipped.
Salazar (4-3, 2.32 ERA) toiled through 40 pitches in the first, marking the most he had thrown in a single frame in his career. The early troubles paved the way for a two-run opening inning for the Red Sox, who took the lead for good, 3-2, when Ortiz delivered a run-scoring double in the second.
"A 40-pitch first inning. That's hard," Francona said. "Part of it was he wasn't commanding. Part of it is that lineup is, from top to bottom, about as dangerous as you're going to see. Whether they sustain it or not, I don't know, but when you're catching them at a time like this, in that streak that they're in, they take some pretty good swings."
Aside from a two-run outburst in the second, Cleveland could not get much going against Red Sox righty Rick Porcello. In that inning, Porcello (7-2, 3.47 ERA) found himnself in a bases-loaded jam with two outs before surrendering a two-run single to Jason Kipnis. That was all the damage done against Porcello, who struck out five and scattered five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Down goes Danny: In the first inning, Hanley Ramirez sent a 2-0 fastball sharply back to the mound, where it struck Salazar on the back of his left calf for a run-scoring infield single. The exit velocity of Ramirez's comebacker was 114 mph, per Statcast™. Salazar was on the ground in clear pain, but following some time to get loose and warmup again, the pitcher remained in the game.
"It hit him hard," Francona said. "I don't think it's anything other than it's going to be a nice bruise. But it whacked him pretty good."
Bradley keeps streaking: In the fifth, Bradley hit a line-drive single on a 1-1 curveball into right field to extend his hitting streak to 27 games, the longest streak of the season. The center fielder is seven games away from tying Dom DiMaggio, who has the longest hitting streak in franchise history. Bradley (.342) ranks second to teammate Xander Bogaerts (.346) for the American League batting average lead.
"I told you guys in Spring Training that we were going to hit. We are young and talented. About hitting, I know a little bit, so I knew this was coming," Ortiz said. More >
Salazar vs. Ortiz: When Salazar's April 7 start against Boston was washed away by rain, he lamented the fact that he would not get to face Ortiz, who was a favorite of his when he was growing up in the Dominican Republic. Be careful what you wish for: Ortiz went 3-for-3 against the righty with an RBI single in the first, an RBI double in the second and a majestic solo home run in the fifth.
"Finally, I got to face him one last time before he retires," Salazar said. "He's hot right now. When you get behind in the count, you know you have to come back to the middle to throw a strike. He's a guy that makes quick adjustments and I have to give him credit. He's a really talented player and he's been here for a long time. I have respect for him." More >
"He's kind of on a different level right now. It looks like he's playing softball. He doesn't swing at balls. And, the ones he swings at, man. Even the ones he fouls off, you kind of take a deep breath. We tried not to pitch to him whenever we could." --Francona, on Ortiz
"The way they command the strike zone and the way they swing the bat, man, they make you work hard. Every pitch. Every out. Every inning is like a high-leverage, high-intensity inning." --Francona, on Boston's offense
"I was wondering, 'Why is he retiring?' I know he has way more to give." --Salazar, on Ortiz
"I was hoping a fan could slap it back in play. I think I heard him mutter, 'Man it's going to be hard to go three with a flat tire.'" --Bradley, on Ortiz's final double, falling short of a triple for the cycle
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the second, Rajai Davis was grazed on the left elbow by an 0-1 fastball from Porcello. Home-plate umpire Marvin Hudson ruled that Davis was hit by the pitch, but Red Sox manager John Farrell challenged that call. After a swift 55-second instant-replay review, the call on the field was upheld.
WHAT'S NEXT Indians: Cleveland is headed to Chicago, where the Indians and White Sox will engage in a doubleheader Monday, beginning at 5:10 p.m. ET at U.S. Cellular Field. Rookie righty Mike Clevinger (0-0, 6.75 ERA) is slated to take the ball in Game 1, while Cody Anderson (0-3, 7.99) will be called up from Triple-A Columbus for the nightcap. The first game will mark the 18,000th game in Cleveland's franchise history.
Red Sox: Boston will enjoy a day off Monday, then lefty ace David Price will make his 10th start as the Red Sox welcome in the Rockies for a three-game series beginning Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Fenway. Price is coming off a strong start against the Royals, allowing five hits and two runs with five strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Entering Sunday, Price led the AL with 70 strikeouts.