A wild series in Boston earned a fitting finale as Cleveland held off the Red Sox for eight innings and then blasted them away in the ninth for an 11-5 win. Franmil Reyes offered his best David Ortiz impersonation in a 4-4 afternoon that featured a walk and another ball launched out of Fenway. Starter Zach Plesac stayed afloat through five turbulent innings, ultimately allowing three.
Nick Wittgren struggled and allowed a two-run home run in the sixth inning that put Boston to within one. It remained close until the ninth when Cleveland poured on five more to seal the 11-5 victory.
On a day with such prodigious output from the offense, it didn’t necessarily matter that Zach Plesac escaped so many near catastrophes. Nonetheless, he diamond-thief-flipped his way through no-out jams in the second and fourth innings. It is never easy to strand runners at third and second base; doing it twice with no out is c r a f t y.
I would prefer that the runners not get there in the first place, of course.
One can tempt fate only so often, and the Red Sox finally broke through against Plesac in the fifth. He allowed a double, a double, a walk, a single, and a double in that order to begin the inning. DeMarlo Hale elected to keep Plesac in the game and he retired the following three hitters in order.
Is it a fantastic start? No, it’s not even “quality”. Nonetheless, he completed five innings and allowed only three runs. I would pay a lot of money to a starter who could do that 35 times a season, you know?
At the plate, Franmil Reyes dominated the day once again. He launched his home run in nearly the same spot as his pinch-hit job from last night. Is he playing horse with himself? Perhaps. He did say that he enjoyed hitting there during the postgame interview with Andre Knott. May he drive balls so prodigiously in every park while wearing Cleveland’s colors.
Bradley Zimmer and Harold Ramirez both tossed two RBIs onto the pile. Bobby Bradley walked, singled, drove in a run via sac fly, and scored twice. Austin Hedges smoked a dude at first from his knees and then sprinted back to the dugout without looking back.
In the explosive ninth, Cleveland did not make an out until the eighth batter, when Bradley Zimmer grounded into a fielder’s choice. Zimmer then ending the inning by getting doubled off of second. Oops.
The win takes Cleveland to 68-66. With today’s win and New York’s loss to Baltimore — you absolutely love to see it — Cleveland sits eight-and-a-half games back from the second wild card spot, nine games back for the first, and nine-and-a-half games back in the division.
I wouldn’t rule anything out just yet.