BOSTON — A little help from the Boston Red Sox went a long way for the Cleveland Indians.
And this time, they needed every bit of it.
Asdrubal Cabrera scored the tying run on an error in the seventh inning and Cleveland went ahead for good on a bases-loaded walk in a 3-2 win over Boston on Saturday.
The Indians snapped their four-game losing streak despite going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and leaving 13 runners on base.
“This is a win that we haven’t had in the last couple of games,” said second baseman Jason Kipnis, who had three hits and reached base four times.
“Usually, when we strand a lot of the runners and don’t come up with the big hit, we’re usually on the down side of things. And you know what? We got lucky.
“A win is a win, but after the little skid we’ve been going through, to have this kind of win is what we needed.”
They can thank Boston for helping them get back on track.
Cabrera and left fielder Michael Brantley singled off reliever Craig Breslow to start the seventh, and Cabrera scored when catcher A.J. Pierzynski dropped second baseman Dustin Pedroia’s throw to the plate on a grounder by Kipnis.
“I just missed it,” said Pierzynski. “(Pedroia) made a great play. That’s why he’s a Gold Glover and I’m not.”
Breslow (2-2) loaded the bases on a walk to right fielder David Murphy, and reliever Junichi Tazawa walked first baseman Carlos Santana, bringing home Brantley with the eventual winning run.
John Axford (2-3) pitched one inning to pick up the win and Cody Allen threw a perfect ninth for his seventh save.
“Obviously when we lost four straight, you’ve got to try and get a win the best way you can,” Axford said. “Scratching out one like that, getting some timely offense and some pitching to come in there and shut them down when you can, that’s obviously a great win.”
Designated hitter David Ortiz had an RBI double as the Red Sox saw their two-game winning streak halted.
Cleveland left-hander T.J. House lasted 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
Jake Peavy surrendered one run and seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Boston’s right-hander departed with a 2-1 lead after pitching out of peril several times, twice leaving the bases loaded and stranding nine runners overall.
“He was great; he deserved to win,” Pierzynski said. “He battled the whole six innings, one run, left with the lead. We had a chance to shut them down, didn’t do it. It’s all my fault.”
Boston capitalized in the sixth, taking the lead when Pedroia doubled, moved to third on Ortiz’s grounder and scored when left fielder Jonny Gomes beat Kipnis’ throw to first on a double-play attempt.
“Obviously it’s been tough to score on my day (to pitch); that’s something I’m not going to shy away from the fact,” said Peavy, who entered the game with the second-lowest run support in the American League.
“I’m not blaming anyone. I have to be better. Guys have to find a way to be better on my day to win. It’s frustrating, no doubt.”
Boston took a 1-0 lead in the first when third baseman Xander Bogaerts singled and came all the way around on Ortiz’s double.
The Indians tied it in the third on shortstop Cabrera’s double that drove in center fielder Michael Bourn, who singled.
“We’re going to have to win some games like that,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “They bring Breslow in and our lefties get hits. We did some good things. We didn’t go out of the zone and we got rewarded for it.”
NOTES: Boston shortstop Stephen Drew, out of the lineup for the sixth straight game because of a right oblique injury, took batting practice before the game and manager John Farrell said he will be available Sunday. … Indians manager Terry Francona was greeted warmly again when he entered the dugout to post his lineup card about two hours before the game. Francona managed the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years in 2004. … Boston RHP Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day disabled list because of a hyperextended right knee, made his first rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday in the opener of a doubleheader. He allowed three runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings. … 3B Will Middlebrooks, on the 15-day disabled list because of a broken right index finger, went 1-for-3 in his first rehab start for Pawtucket, and OF Shane Victorino, on the disabled list for the second time this season because of a strained right hamstring, was 0-for-2. … Francona said the Indians want to limit Carlos Santana’s time playing catcher to save his body and keep him in the lineup. He was at first base again Saturday. … RHP Corey Kluber (6-4, 3.35 ERA) goes for the Indians in the series finale Sunday against RHP Brandon Workman (1-0, 2.86).