Rapid Reaction: Indians 5, Red Sox 2
August, 11, 2012
By Bob Finnan | ESPNBoston.com
CLEVELAND -- Adrian Gonzalez came within five feet of being the hero.
The Boston Red Sox certainly needed someone to step up in their 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday at Progressive Field.
Gonzalez, one of the top clutch hitters in baseball, came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning.
He belted a two-run double off the left-field wall -- about five feet from being a grand slam off Tribe right-hander Zach McAllister.
Two runs scored on the play. Dustin Pedroia tried to score from first on the towering drive but was gunned down at the plate.
The Red Sox blew a chance at another run in the fifth. Leadoff batter Jacoby Ellsbury doubled to left-center but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Ellsbury atoned for the overaggressive play in the bottom of the seventh. He ran down a long fly ball and made a diving catch near the center-field wall to end the inning, robbing Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera of at least a double.
For the second night in a row, the Red Sox allowed the Indians to score a run in an inning without the benefit of a hit. Wildness by losing pitcher Franklin Morales (3-3) in the sixth loaded the bases with one out. The Tribe pushed across the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley. That left the score 3-2 and sent Morales to the showers.
Morales, a lefty, pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed just two hits. However, he gave up three earned runs, walked four and struck out six in his 108-pitch outing.
He came into the game leading the majors in opponents' batting average (.186) since June 3. He had been on a roll in his previous 14 outings, as he compiled a 2.70 ERA and had 51 strikeouts.
None of that mattered Saturday.
The Red Sox were victimized by a suicide squeeze bunt by Tribe catcher Lou Marson that scored Brent Lillibridge in the seventh. Lillibridge, who spent a month in Boston this season before being traded to Cleveland, was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. He slugged a solo homer in the third and a double in the seventh.
Gonzalez came into the game leading the majors with a .409 average with runners in scoring position. He made the last out of the game -- a loud one -- with a line drive to the base of the left-field wall with Pedroia on second. Indians left fielder Ezequiel Carrera caught the ball, slammed into the wall and fell down.