BOSTON – (Staff Report from Fenway Park) – Boston’s David Price and Cleveland’s Adam Plutko were four and a half innings into an old-fashioned pitcher’s duel when the Red Sox came to bat in the fifth. Price was in the midst of his most dominant outing of the season, while Plutko looked impressive as he held the high octane Red Sox lineup to only two hits. No runner from either team had advanced to 3rd base.
That all changed in the home half of the 5th as the Red Sox, who batted around in the 4th inning and scored five runs in the process last night, batted around once again, scoring six runs on five hits to break the game wide open. A two-run double by Blake Swihart, a double by Xander Bogaerts and opposite field double by Eduardo Nunez did the major damage against the Tribe. After they’d dropped the first two games and endured a three-game losing streak for only the second time this season, Boston cruised through the last third of the game to even the four game series at 2-2 with an impressive 7-0 victory.
Swihart entered the game as a pinch runner in the first inning when starting first baseman Mitch Moreland was replaced because of a left knee contusion after Moreland’s 1st inning base hit. Swihart went 2-for-4 on the afternoon with a run scored and two RBI. Boston scattered 12 hits on the day with four doubles.
Price pitched eight innings of three-hit baseball to earn his 14th victory of the season. He threw 101 pitches with 68 for strikes as he struck out seven Indians and walked none. Price gave way to reliever Tyler Thornburg in the 9th inning. Price is (14-6) on the year.
Cleveland’s Plutko took the loss, allowing five earned runs on five hits, five walks in 4.1 innings of work. Plutko is (4-4) on the year.
GAME NOTES – After today’s game, Boston will head to Tampa for a three-game set against the Rays. Cleveland continues its road trip with three at Kansas City. … After this series, the AL East and Central leaders will not meet again until a three-game series at Cleveland (September 21-23. … When the Sox play at Tampa, Boston will throw RHP Hector Velazquez (7-1, 2.74 ERA) vs (Tampa pitcher TBA); On Saturday, RHP Rick Porcello (15-6, 4.14 ERA) will throw (Tampa SP also TBA) and Sunday, Boston’s RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-5, 3.81 ERA) will face his old teammates with LHP ace Blake Snell (15-5, 2.07 ERA) expected on the mound for the Rays. … Cleveland is 15-6 in August. … Earlier in the day, Cleveland activated right-handed pitcher Josh Tomlin (back spasms) from the disabled list, the team announced. In a corresponding move, the Indians placed right-hander Neil Ramirez on the 10-day disabled list. He is also suffering from back spasms.