By TERRY LYONS from Fenway Park
BOSTON – The Cleveland Indians jumped on Red Sox starting pitcher Rick Porcello for two runs in the top of the first inning tonight and, when the Boston infielders held a town meeting on the mound after Porcello plunked Cleveland DH Jake Bauers with a hit-by-pitch, it looked as though the Sox righty was in for either a very long or very short night.
Porcello allowed two runs in that 1st inning, both unearned after a SS Xander Bogaerts error, and another single run in the 3rd inning, but as he did during his last outing (May 22 at Toronto), Porcello endured as the Red Sox battled their way back and defeated Cleveland, 12-5.
By the top of the 5th inning, the score was tied at 3-3 after an Andrew Benintendi walk was followed by a bullet line-drive off the bat of Mookie Betts that careened past Cleveland RF Oscar Mercado, allowing Betts to advance to 3B on the right fielder’s error. It a rally that saw Betts score Boston’s second run on a wild pitch by Indians starter Jefry Rodriguez.
Bogaerts scored in the home half of the 4th inning when he cracked the first of three consecutive singles off Rodriguez and Sox 2B/Utility INF Brock Holt knocked in a run with his first hit since returning from a scratched cornea (right eye) suffered April 6th.
Boston broke the game open with a six-run 5th inning, capped by a 3-run homer by No. 9 hitter Sandy “King of” Leon (if in “Boomer” Berman mode). The Sox catcher drove a 3-2 pitch down the left field line and into the Green Monster seats along the left field foul pole. It was his 2nd HR of the season.
Rodriguez left after only 4.1 IP, eight hits, seven runs (six earned), three walks (one intentional) and six strike-outs. He also threw two wild pitches and a balk while tossing 101 pitches on the night (67 strikes). His relief fared no better as LHP Oliver Perez pitched 2/3rds an inning, and allowed two runs on two hits, including the Leon HR.
Porcello settled in during the middle innings, including a stretch where he retired 7-of-8 batters. Porcello finished the night after allowing xx in the top of the 7th inning, yanked after 6.2 IP. He gave up eight hits, five runs (three earned) with three base-on-balls and four strike-outs. Porcello gave way to RHP Heath Hembree in the 7th and Hembree was not effective as he allowed two runners on-board to score and count against Porcello’s ERA.
Boston designated hitter J.D.Martinez hit his 10th and 11th home runs of the season in the 6th and 8th innings, each solo shots. For Martinez, it marked his 2nd two-HR game of the season (May 12th vs Seattle) and the 12th time in his career he’s hit two HRs in a game.
Mercado (2-for-5 with a walk and on base E-6) reached base four times he batted for the Indians. He scored three runs and stole two bases.
Boston relievers Ryan Braiser and Hector Velazquez came in relief of Hembree and put in some much-needed live pitching work. Porcello earned the win and is now (4-4). Cleveland’s Rodriguez took the loss and is (1-5).
NOTES – In his pregame meeting with the press, Manager Alex Cora noted that LHP David Price (2-2, 3.24 ERA) is feeling better from his “flu-like” symptoms and will start Tuesday night (7:10pm ET) against the Indians’ RHP Zach Plesac (MLB debut). … Cora will start RHP Ryan Weber (1-0, 1.29 ERA) on the Wednesday evening (6:10 pm ET) against Cleveland’s Shane Bieber (3-2, 3.11 ERA). … LHP and staff ace Chris Sale is likely to go at New York and Kansas City. … In a pre-game press conference the Red Sox announced Dustin Pedroia would go on the 60-day Injured List. … After rehab assignments in the minors, utility man extraordinaire Holt was reactivated and started at 2B. … Holt was placed on the injured list on April 6 with scratched cornea in his right eye but returned from a rehab assignment on April 29 due to right shoulder inflammation. He reached base via hit or walk in each of his 10 rehab games between Triple-A Pawtucket and Portland, going 7-for-30 (.233) with a .425 on-base percentage while making four starts at shortstop, two at second base, and four as a designated hitter. … Rafael Devers did not hit a HR in his first 32 games of the season, but he has four HRs in his last 7 games, and 7 HR in his last 21. … Former ESPN anchor Chris “Boomer” Berman called the game on WEEI-Radio tonight with Joe Castiglione. … Berman got right into the mix with his nicknames when he stated that Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana might have to change his “Evil Ways.” (wink, wink) … The Red Sox faithful piled-out of Fenway Park to watch Game 1 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, featuring the hometown Boston Bruins against the St. Louis Blues. … The Red Sox paid tribute to those who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice in touching pregame ceremonies with a huge USA flag on the famed Green Monster.” … Former Red Sox INF Bill Buckner passed away today and the club paid tribute with a moment of silence before the game. Buckner suffered from dementia and his family issued a statement to call attention to the dreaded disease. … “After battling the disease of Lewy Body Dementia, Bill Buckner passed away early the morning of May 27th surrounded by his family,” Buckner’s family told ESPN in a statement. “Bill fought with courage and grit as he did all things in life.” … He was 69 years old.