The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

June 4, 2014

Wahoos’ drive hits 5

Tribe bests BoSox again, goes for sweep of series tonight

CLEVELAND — The Indians have succeeded in doing something that every ballclub aspires to: Make their own ballpark their house.

Tuesday’s 5-3 win over Boston was Cleveland’s eighth straight victory at home, including 5 on the current home stand. Their 20-11 home ledger is the best in the American League, and trails only San Francisco and Miami in the Majors.

In this one, Michael Bourn provided the winning runs with a two-run, one-out double in the seventh inning. It put the Tribe (29-30) back on top after an early 3-0 advantage had slowly slipped away.

Seemingly all of a sudden, Cleveland found itself only 4 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central Division, tied for second with Chicago pending the outcome of the White Sox’s game against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

“I thought we played a good game,” manager Terry Francona, who got errorless play from his team, said. “I thought we had to.”

The Indians, who have clinched the three-game series by winning the first 2, with the finale to be played this evening, regained the lead immediately after the Red Sox had tied it.

With Boston having scored a seventh-inning run to knot the game at 3, David Murphy ked off the bottom of the seventh with a walk against starter Jake Peavy (1-3, 3.79 ERA). Yan Gomes followed by grounding a hit through the left side, moving Murphy to second.

Mike Aviles attempted to sacrifice the runners over, but was unable to do so, as Peavy threw to third for the force. However, Bourn greeted reliever Andrew Miller by driving a 2-1 pitch over the head of Jonny Gomes and onto the left-field warning track, bringing home both runners.

“Bournie had a really good at-bat,” Francona said. “That’s not a fun lefty to face from the left side. He’s actually now 5-for-7 off of him. (But) that’s not a comfortable at-bat.

“I think he feels good about himself. I think he’s starting to understand the impact he can have on our team. And I think he is enjoying it immensely.”

Nick Hagadone, making his first 2014 appearance with Cleveland after having been recalled from AAA Columbus the day before, got the win by finishing the seventh. He was replaced by Cody Allen with a man on and two outs in the eighth. Allen retired all 4 batters he faced for his fifth save.

“(Hagadone’s performance) was really good, because on a night when we’re not going to use (Bryan) Shaw, he got the outs, went back out, got it to where Cody could clean up an inning and then actually go out and pitch another one, because (Allen) only threw 2 pitches in the eighth and then another (10) in the ninth,” Francona said. “That was a huge effort on Nick’s part.”

“In the past I’ve thrown mostly fastballs, and I think that’s hurt me a lot,” Hagadone said. “So whenever I get a chance to throw a breaking ball, I throw it.”

Hagadone related that he has benefited by simplifying his delivery.

“The main thing is putting more athleticism back,” he said. “It got kind of robotic a little bit.”

The Indians scored 3 times in the first inning, and still held a 3-1 advantage entering the sixth. T.J. House, who saw the chance for his first major-league win slip away in the hands of the bullpen for the second straight time, exited with a man on first and two outs. Marc Rzepczynski let the inherited runner score by hitting Jackie Bradley Jr. with a pitch and allowing an RBI single to Jonathan Herrera.

The Red Sox (27-31) tied it in the seventh when Xander Bogaerts and Dustin Pedroia hit back-to-back, no-out doubles off Scott Atchison.

Atchison intentionally walked David Ortiz and then got Jonny Gomes to pop out. Hagadone then fanned A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Hassan to avert further trouble.

Bogaerts’ solo homer to left-center, his second round-tripper in 2 nights, had provided the first Boston run in the third.

The Indians strung together 5 consecutive singles against Peavy to produce 3 first-inning runs.

Bourn started things by lining a hit to left. Asdrubal Cabrera grounded one through the right side, sending Bourn to third. Michael Brantley smacked a line drive just past first baseman Brock Holt to drive in the first run.

Jason Kipnis followed by beating out a bunt to load the bases. Lonnie Chisenhall then blooped a hit to left-center, with one run scoring and the bases remaining loaded.

Brantley came home on Ryan Raburn’s double-play grounder.

Cleveland put a man on third with one out in the second, but Peavy got out of it. After Yan Gomes had reached on an infield hit and taken second on an error to start the frame, Peavy set down the next 14 batters.

The first two batters of the contest reached base against House, but he proceeded to retire the next 3. He induced Herrera to ground into an inning-ending double play after allowing 2 hits in the second.

“I thought T.J. kept pounding the strike zone,” Francona said. “The first inning was a good example. He sees first and second, middle of their order coming up. regardless of what happened, he kept throwing strikes. And that kept him in the game long enough.”

The Tribe loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Burke Badenhop replaced Craig Breslow and got Yan Gomes to ground into a double play.

Goldman is a freelance writer from South Euclid.

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