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Lester gets easy win, Red Sox rout Indians 14-1

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester delivers against the Cleveland Indians in the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2012, in Cleveland.
The Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Jon Lester struck out 12 over six innings for his first win in six weeks and the Boston Red Sox salvaged a four-game split by routing the Cleveland Indians 14-1 Sunday.

Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer and two-run double. Carl Crawford had three RBIs and three of Boston’s seven doubles.

The Red Sox built a 6-1 lead against Corey Kluber (0-1) and scored their most runs since hammering Miami 15-5 in an interleague game June 20.

Lester (6-10) was on cruise control with the big lead after struggling to an 0-5 record and 7.49 ERA in seven starts since beating Toronto on June 27. He gave up three hits and one run to move to 5-1 lifetime against Cleveland.

Boston won for only the fourth time in 12 games.

Cleveland is 3-2 following 11 straight losses that dropped them out of contention in the AL Central.

Lester threw his fastball on both sides of the plate and mixed in a slow curve to baffle Indians hitters. It was his 17th career game of 10 or more strikeouts, one behind Joe Wood for third in Red Sox history behind Pedro Martinez (72) and Roger Clemens (68).

The left-hander posted at least 15 wins each of the past four seasons, going 65-32 overall, but opened this year 0-2, including an embarrassing 18-3 loss to Texas on April 17 in which he gave up seven runs over two innings.

He went 5-3 over the next two months before struggling through the toughest stretch of his career.

He was staked to a 3-0 lead in the first. Dustin Pedroia had an RBI double and scored on Gonzalez’s 13th homer.

A sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana cut it to 3-1 in the bottom half.

Then the Red Sox poured it on, totaling 16 hits.

Crawford lined a two-run double in the second and ex-Indian Kelly Shoppach’s broken-bat RBI single in the fourth made it 6-1.

Boston added an eight-run fifth off relievers Josh Tomlin and Frank Herrmann. Jacoby Ellsbury and Gonzalez each had two-run doubles, and Cody Ross and Jarrod Saltalamacchia each hit RBI singles. Danny Valencia added a sacrifice fly and Crawford another RBI double to make it 14-1.

That equaled Boston’s biggest inning this season, an eight-run eighth in a 12-2 win over Tampa Bay on April 13.

It was the eighth time since the All-Star break that Cleveland gave up 10-plus runs. The Indians are 9-21 and their starting rotation has a 6.71 ERA over that stretch.

Kluber gave up six runs and seven hits over 3 1-3 innings, his shortest outing in three career starts.

NOTES: Boston 3B Will Middlebrooks does not need surgery on his broken right wrist, though he is still likely out for the season. … Gonzalez had eight RBIs in the series and 22 in his last 16 games overall. … Santana moved from catcher to left field in the sixth, his first outfield appearance in 300 career games. He last played there in 2008 in Class-A ball. … Boston reliever Clayton Mortenson struck out in the ninth. He batted after Boston manager Bobby Valentine rested players with the big lead and lost use of the designated hitter in a series of lineup changes. … The Indians released INF Jose Lopez, who was designated for assignment Aug. 7. They released OF Johnny Damon and RHPs Derek Lowe and Jeremy Accardo earlier in the week. … Cleveland opens a nine-game trip to Los Angeles, Oakland and Seattle on Tuesday. … The Red Sox continue their nine-game trip with three-game series at AL rivals Baltimore and New York.

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