A PAIR of sixth-inning runs helped the host Boston Red Sox edge the Cleveland Guardians 3-1 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series.
After Rob Refsnyder walked to lead off the frame, Alex Verdugo doubled him home to give Boston a 2-1 lead. Xander Bogaerts’ base hit moved Verdugo to third, and Christian Vazquez singled him home to give Boston a cushion it would retain to snap a five-game losing streak.
Yolmer Sanchez also drove in a run for the Red Sox, who hadn’t won since before the All-Star break.
Zach Plesac (2-8) allowed all three runs in addition to three hits in five innings of work. He walked three and struck out four.
John Schreiber (3-1) worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief and picked up two strikeouts. Starter Nick Pivetta was strong across 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits with six strikeouts. He walked three.
Garrett Whitlock picked up his second save of the season. The right-hander retired all six batters he faced in order, fanning two of them.
Jose Ramirez and Myles Straw both went 2-for-4 for a Cleveland offense that didn’t record an extra-base hit. Ramirez drove in Straw with a single in the fifth for the lone Guardians run.
The Red Sox got on the board with back-to-back hits in the third inning just before a 38-minute rain delay began.
Jackie Bradley Jr. led off the inning with a double off the Green Monster and crossed the plate on Sanchez’s line-drive single into the left-field corner. It was Sanchez’s second RBI in just as many days, and he’s hit safely in two of four games since being recalled from Triple-A Worcester last week.
Cleveland didn’t get on the scoreboard until the fifth when Ramirez flicked a game-tying base hit inside the third-base bag.
Trevor Stephan and Sam Hentges each provided 2/3 of an inning out of the Guardians bullpen, and James Karinchak struck out four across 1 2/3 scoreless frames. — Reuters