Indians 8, Red Sox 2
Indians improve to 79-80
Cleveland is not normally a balmy place in October, and Friday night fit right in with what is expected in Northeast Ohio this time of year. Downtown at Progressive Field saw temperatures dropping into the upper 40's and chilly winds gusting over 30 miles per hour, but that didn't put a damper on the Indians offense.
While the fans were braving the conditions, the Tribe bashed out 12 hits and eight runs in their victory over American League East rival Boston in game one of the club's final series of the year.
The Indians were facing Boston rookie Henry Owens, who entered with a 3.84 ERA over 58 2/3 innings. Owens is tall and lanky, with 6'6" of arms and legs semi-flailing at the hitters; and features a nice array of off-speed stuff to go with an 88-90 mph fastball. Owens often pitched backwards, doubling up on soft stuff and avoiding throwing too many fastballs while behind in counts Friday. Thankfully, Cleveland hitters mostly stayed patient and found their spots to attack.
The Tribe looked as if they would get on the board in the first inning, after Francisco Lindor walked, stole second, and Carlos Santana singled to center. Lindor, who runs well, challenged center fielder Mookie Betts' arm and promptly lost, being thrown out by a great throw from Betts.
A quiet second inning was followed by plenty of fun in the third, with the Tribe plating four runs off of the young left-hander. Mike Aviles opened the frame with an infield single, followed by a Jose Ramirez walk. A semi-bloop single from Ryan Raburn loaded the bases for Carlos Santana, who delivered with a bases-clearing line drive double to center field that not even Lake Erie winds could stop. Chris Johnson added an opposite field single to score Santana, giving the Indians a healthy early lead.
The Tribe knocked out Owens in the fifth with hits from Yan Gomes, Jerry Sands, Abraham Almonte, and Johnson. Owens final line wasn't particularly pretty, giving up ten hits and seven earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings.
Josh Tomlin started for the Indians and bounced back nicely from a poor start last week against the Kansas City Royals. Tomlin, who like Owens lacks a big fastball, struck out five Red Sox hitters and only big mistake was grooving a mid 80's fastball to David Ortiz, who smacked it deep into the right field stands. With the win, Tomlin will finish the year 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA, a sparkling 0.84 WHIP, and plenty of momentum in the 2016 starting rotation race.
The Indians and Red Sox will be back at it tomorrow night, with Corey Kluber scheduled to face off against Craig Breslow. First pitch is set for 7:10 PM ET. Let's Go Tribe!
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