June 23, 2018
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Napoli, Pedroia propel Red Sox past Indians

Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Boston's Dustin Pedroia (15) and Xander Bogaerts (2) are greeted at home plate by Daniel Nava after scoring runs during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park in Boston Friday night.
By Ken Powtak, The Sports Xchange

BOSTON — John Lackey pitched seven solid innings, and Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia each had a two-run double to carry the Boston Red Sox to their seventh straight home win, a 10-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

Second baseman Pedroia added a pair of stellar defensive plays on the day his wife, Kelly, gave birth to their third son, and third baseman Xander Bogaerts snapped an 0-for-18 drought with a towering homer over the Green Monster in left as Boston posted a season high for runs.

First baseman Carlos Santana had a two-run homer for the Indians, who lost their fourth straight.

It was Boston’s eighth win in its last nine games in Fenway Park against Cleveland, which swept the Red Sox at home in a three-game series last week.

Returning home came at the right time for the struggling Red Sox, who went 2-7 on a nine-game road trip. Boston won the opener of a four-game series against Cleveland on Thursday night, 5-2.

Lackey (8-4) was sharp after allowing Santana’s two-run homer in the second, holding the Indians to one run on three hits in his final 4 2/3 innings. The veteran right-hander was charged with three runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out five.

Left-hander Andrew Miller got four outs and right-hander Burke Badenhop the final three as Boston’s bullpen held the Indians hitless.

Cleveland’s Justin Masterson (4-5) took the loss in his shortest outing of the season, lasting just two-plus innings. He gave up five runs on three hits, walking four.

Leading 5-3 in the seventh, Boston broke the game open with four runs off two relievers. Pedroia had his two-run double. He scored when first baseman Napoli singled to right and David Murphy bobbled the ball and was charged with an error. Right fielder Daniel Nava added an RBI double.

Lackey, who has been Boston’s most consistent starter this season, held an opponent to three or fewer runs for the fifth straight start and the 11th time in 14 starts.

Pedroia made a diving catch on a line drive to his right in the first and diving stab of a grounder in the sixth.

Friday’s pitching matchup was not reminiscent of the last time these two right-handers faced each other last Monday night in Cleveland.

Last time, Masterson pitched seven shutout innings, holding the Red Sox to three hits. Lackey gave up three runs in eight innings on Monday, taking the tough-luck loss.

Masterson struggled this time.

Trailing 2-0 in the second, Boston jumped ahead with three runs. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski doubled home two runs with a drive into the center-field triangle area, and, one out later, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. tripled to the base of the right-field wall.

Cleveland tied it on left fielder Michael Brantley’s RBI double in the third before Boston chased Masterson.

Masterson was pulled after walking the first two batters in the third inning. Napoli then lined a two-run double to right off rookie reliever Kyle Crockett, making it 5-3.

The Indians had grabbed a 2-0 lead in the second on Santana’s homer over Cleveland’s bullpen in right. Lackey had gone 33 1/3 innings — covering four-plus starts — since giving up a homer.

NOTES: Red Sox RHP Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day DL since May 27, was expected to make his first rehab start with Triple-A Pawtucket on Friday night. … The Indians optioned struggling reliever Nick Hagadone to Triple-A Columbus before the game and recalled rookie LHP Kyle Crockett. … Boston shortstop Stephen Drew was out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game with a right oblique injury. Manager John Farrell said Drew worked out in the batting cage before the game and the team had no results from an MRI that he was expected to undergo earlier. … Boston 3B Will Middlebrooks, on the 15-day DL since May 17 with a fractured right index finger, was also slated to begin a rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Friday. … Cleveland reliever Carlos Carrasco, who worked two scoreless innings in the series opener Thursday, has a 2.18 ERA since being moved to the bullpen. … LHP T.J. House (0-1, 5.24 ERA) goes for Cleveland on Saturday against Boston RHP Jake Peavy (1-4, 4.76).


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