June 24, 2018
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Ortiz, Lester propel Red Sox past Indians

Greg M. Cooper | USA Today Sports
Greg M. Cooper | USA Today Sports
Boston's Brock Holt hits a double during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park in Boston Thursday night.
By SportsDirect, Special to the BDN

BOSTON — David Ortiz swatted a two-run homer to back 7 2/3 strong innings from Jon Lester as the Boston Red Sox won the opener of a four-game series, 5-2 over the Cleveland Indians Thursday night at Fenway Park.

Brock Holt had two hits and two RBIs and Daniel Nava collected three hits for the Red Sox, who were swept by Cleveland last week as part of a 2-7 road trip. Lester (7-7) improved to 7-1 lifetime against the Indians, allowing two runs — one earned — on eight hits before Koji Uehara worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save.

Jason Kipnis had a pair of hits and drove in both runs while Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes each had two hits for Cleveland, which suffered its third straight loss to drop to 3-4 on its 10-game road trip. Josh Tomlin (4-3) was tagged for four runs — three earned — on nine hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Indians shortstop Astrubal Cabrera’s error in the second led to Grady Sizemore’s RBI ground-rule double in the second before the Red Sox made it 3-0 when Ortiz launched a fastball from Tomlin into the bleachers in center in the fifth inning for his 15th homer. Lester dropped a throw at first base in the sixth and it resulted in two runs when Brantley followed with a double and Kipnis singled home a pair to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Jonathan Herrera’s two-out triple in the sixth chased Tomlin in favor of lefty Nick Hagadone, who walked Jackie Bradley Jr. before Holt sliced a two-run double over the head of Brantley in left field to restore the three-run edge. Bradley preserved the lead in the seventh with a long running catch in center before turning to double Mike Aviles off first base.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Indians manager Terry Francona opted not to start red-hot 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, who has hit safely in nine straight games with multiple hits in his last five. … Red Sox 3B Xander Bogaerts, hitless in his last 16 at-bats, got the night off while SS Stephen Drew (right oblique) sat out his fourth straight game and will have an MRI exam on Friday. … Cleveland activated 1B Nick Swisher (knee) from the 15-day disabled list and placed DH Jason Giambi on the DL due to inflammation in his left knee.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 2

BALTIMORE — Delmon Young’s two-run homer in the first inning gave starter Kevin Gausman all the support he needed, and the right-hander threw six strong innings to help the Baltimore Orioles to a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday night.

Young’s homer off Toronto starter Mark Buehrle gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead just two batters in, and Baltimore never trailed. For the eighth game in a row, Toronto’s opponent scored first.

Catcher Caleb Joseph added a run-scoring single and right fielder Nick Markakis hit an RBI double for the Orioles, who won for the third time in four games.

Gausman (2-1) allowed one run on five hits and three walks while striking out three. He never set down the Jays in order, and Toronto (39-29) repeatedly got deep into counts, but he was able to avoid major trouble.

Left-hander Brian Matusz (seventh) and right-hander Ryan Webb (eighth) each pitched an inning before left-hander Zach Britton threw a scoreless ninth for his sixth save.

Buehrle (10-3) lost for the second start in a row after becoming the majors’ first 10-game winner this year. He gave up four runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Left fielder Melky Cabrera and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion drove in the Blue Jays’ runs.

Buehrle came into the game with the second-best ERA in the American League, but the Orioles got to him quickly. Right fielder Nick Markakis led off with a single in the first, and Young, Baltimore’s designated hitter, followed with his two-run homer.

The Orioles made it 3-0 in the second. Third baseman Manny Machado led off with a double to right and eventually scored on Joseph’s single.

Toronto put runners on base in each of the first five innings but didn’t break through until the fifth.


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