BOSTON — Nick Swisher, a thorn in the side of the Boston Red Sox and their fans when he was with the New York Yankees, did it again on Sunday.
Swisher, who just came off the disabled list on Thursday and was struggling at the plate, lined a solo home run — his 16th career homer against the Red Sox — leading off the 11th inning to give the Cleveland Indians a 3-2 win over Boston.
The victory, the second straight 3-2 win by the Indians, gave Cleveland (35-35) a split of the four-game series and a 5-2 season series win over the Red Sox.
Swisher, 0-for-4 on the day and 1-for-12 in the series, came through on a 2-1 pitch as the first batter faced by right-hander Junichi Tazawa (1-1). Tazawa also walked home the winning run in Saturday’s game.
Cleveland closer Cody Allen (3-1) pitched two perfect innings to get the win.
Michael Brantley hit a solo homer (his career-high 11th) and catcher Yan Gomes had a sacrifice fly for the other Cleveland runs, as the Indians again came from behind. Designated hitter David Ortiz and second baseman Dustin Pedroia drove in the Boston runs, as the Red Sox fell to 31-38 with their second straight loss following seven straight home wins.
The hit was the first allowed in the game by five Boston relievers, the first four working a combined four scoreless innings.
The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the ninth — after right-hander John Axford walked the bases loaded around a pair of strikeouts.
Red Sox starter Brandon Workman, allowed to pitch as Major League Baseball delayed final word on his six-game suspension for throwing at Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria until Monday, went six-plus strong innings. He left with two on and nobody out in the seventh and Gomes tied the game against right-hander Burke Badenhop.
Right-hander Corey Kluber worked the first 5 1/3 innings for the Indians.
The Indians won both weekend games without a hit with runners in scoring position (0-for-16).
Brantley, who has been hot, connected down the right-field line on a 2-2 pitch with two out in the first, but the Red Sox got the run right back in the bottom of the first. Third baseman Brock Holt (two hits) led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and home on Ortiz’s single off the Green Monster.
Brantley threw Ortiz out at second — Brantley’s eighth assist of the season — and that play became bigger when first baseman Mike Napoli followed with a single.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. drew a one-out walk in the fifth and went to third on Holt’s second hit. Pedroia, who made a pair of sparkling fielding plays on counterpart Jason Kipnis, then beat Kipnis’ double-play relay as Bradley scored the go-ahead run in the fifth.
The Indians tied the game in the seventh. A walk to right fielder David Murphy and first baseman Carlos Santana’s single put runners on first and third and ended Workman’s day. Badenhop came on and gave up the sacrifice fly to Gomes.
Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew had two hits and a stolen base for the Red Sox.