BOSTON – Monday’s series opener between the Red Sox and the Indians had a playoff atmosphere. The outcome was all too familiar for a Red Sox team that was swept away by the Indians less than two years ago in the postseason.
The Indians hit three home runs off Rick Porcello (15-6) on their way to a 5-4 comeback victory. Porcello allowed three home runs in three consecutive innings, coughing up a 3-0 Red Sox lead.
Boston saw a ninth inning rally fall short as Ian Kinsler flied out with the tying run at second base and the winning run at first.
The Sox left 11 men on base in the loss.
Porcello allowed six hits in total over seven innings of work. He struck out six, walked one, and was charged with all five of the runs scored by Cleveland.
Indians starter Corey Kluber (16-6) did not have his best stuff, but went 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona mixed and matched with his bullpen, using four relievers to seal the game. Indians closer Cody Allen struggled, but managed to escape the ninth inning with his 25th save of the season.
How it happened:
Xander Bogaerts opened up the scoring with a two-RBI single in the first inning, capping a two-out rally for the Sox.
Andrew Benintendi drove in Jackie Bradley Jr. in the second with a RBI single.
Melky Cabrera hit a solo home run in the fifth.
Francisco Lindor led off the sixth inning with an infield single when Porcello hesitated in covering the bag on a ball hit to first. Michael Brantley then hit a two-run homer to tie the game 3-3.
Porcello was hit in the abdomen by a Yan Gomes line drive in the seventh. He stayed in the game, but served up the go-ahead two-run home run to the next batter, Greg Allen. It was Allen’s second home run of the season.
Mookie Betts doubled and Benintendi walked to start the ninth, before Mitch Moreland grounded into a fielder’s choice, just beating a double play at first. J.D. Martinez popped out. Xander Bogaerts hit a dribbler up the third base line, driving in Betts on the infield single, but Ian Kinsler flied out to end the game.
Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.62 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday against Indians righty Shane Bieber (6-2, 4.37 ERA)