The Red Sox extended their season-long winning streak to five games with a 6-3 win Wednesday night in Cleveland over the Indians. After jumping out to a 5-0 lead, the Indians only threat came in the sixth inning when they scored three runs off of starter Alfredo Aceves, but that would be as close as they would get.
The team wasted no time, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Mike Napoli continued to swing a hot bat with a two-RBI single with the bases loaded, and Daniel Nava followed with an RBI single of his own. Mike Carp’s triple scored Stephen Drew in the fifth, and then Nava added another RBI single in the sixth. Jacoby Ellsbury scored on a throwing error in the eighth in account for the sixth and final run.
Carp paced the offense with two doubles and a triple, while Ellsbury and Shane Victorino had good nights as well with three hits each. The Red Sox could have scored even more runs, but they left 10 total runners on base, including the bases loaded twice in the first four innings.
Aceves pitched well in his second start of the year, until the sixth inning. It was there where he seemed to run out of gas, allowing back-to-back home runs to Nick Swisher and Jason Giambi as the Indians cut the deficit to 5-3 at the time. He then allowed a double to Mark Reynolds, before John Farrell made the move to bullpen. Junichi Tazawa continued his impressive start to the season by retiring the first three hitters he faced to get out of the jam.
Aceves finished going 5-plus innings allowing the three runs on seven hits, while striking out three. Tazawa (two innings), Koji Uehara and Andrew Bailey (save) combined to pitch four hitless innings in relief of Aceves, who picked up his first win of the season.
Jon Lester will get the ball Thursday night in the series finale (7:10 p.m., NESN) as the Red Sox will be going for the sweep, while the Indians will counter with Zach McAllister.
What they’ll be saying: Thursday night may have been the first managerial mistake from Farrell as he stuck with Aceves a little too long. Aceves threw 84 pitches after the fifth and was clearly laboring, but Farrell sent him back out for the sixth. It was there were he allowed the back-to-back home runs to let the Indians back in the game. He finished by throwing 106 pitches, a very high number for Aceves … An alarming trend for the Sox bats is the number of times they have struck out of late as Wednesday they struck out another 10 times, including three from Pedroia.