Cleveland at Boston
When: Monday, October 10, 2016
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
BOSTON – (Wire Service Report) – Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is pushing all the right buttons with his pitching staff in the American League Division Series and has a chance to clinch in a place that holds some special memories. Francona, who guided the Red Sox to two World Series championships as manager, tries to advance the Indians to the AL Championship Series when they visit Boston for Game 3 in the best-of-five set Monday, after Sunday’s scheduled game 3 was postponed due to rain.
Francona used Andrew Miller and Cody Allen each for a season-high 40 pitches in a 5-4 Game 1 victory and rode ace Corey Kluber, who missed time at the end of the season with a quad injury, for seven innings in Game 2’s 6-0 triumph. “I think everybody is just playing baseball,” Francona told reporters. “I think that’s what we know how to do. I think when you start thinking about other things that maybe we’re not so good at, we try to stay away from that and just play the game, and play the game as well as we can and see what happens.” The Red Sox led the league in runs scored and batting average during the regular season but struck out 22 times in the first two games and watched stars Dustin Pedroia, Mookie Betts, David Ortiz, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. go a combined 4-for-36. “We’re getting our (butts) beat,” Ortiz told reporters. “Nothing to celebrate. It’s part of the game, man, but I know we’re better than that.”
TV: 6:08 p.m. ET, TBS
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40 ERA) vs. Red Sox RH Clay Buchholz (8-10, 4.78)
Tomlin was an unlikely candidate to start a postseason game for Cleveland when he was struggling to get outs in August and was briefly demoted to the bullpen, but a strong finish and injuries to Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar pushed him up to Game 3 status. The 31-year-old Texan posted a 1.75 ERA in his final four appearances during the regular season, capped by a win at Kansas City that helped guarantee the Indians homefield advantage in the ALDS. Tomlin is 2-3 with a 5.49 ERA in seven career games (six starts) against Boston, including a tough-luck loss Aug. 15 when he allowed three runs in 7 2/3 innings.
Buchholz is another unlikely Game 3 starter after being pushed back to the bullpen because of ineffectiveness earlier in the season but – like Tomlin – a strong closing stretch convinced the team to push him up. Buchholz surrendered three runs and 11 hits in 19 innings over his final three regular-season starts. The 32-year-old Texan is 2-2 with a 4.85 ERA in seven career starts against Cleveland but struggled in two chances this season, allowing a combined nine runs (eight earned) and seven walks in 10 innings.
1. Red Sox 3B Brock Holt recorded one of the team’s three hits in Game 2 and is 4-for-8 in the series.
2. Indians 3B Jose Ramirez, who finished seventh in the AL in batting – behind Betts, Pedroia and Ortiz – in the regular season, is 4-for-7 in the series.
3. Boston has twice recovered from 2-0 deficits after losing the first two on the road to win ALDS series – in 2003 against Oakland and 1999 against Cleveland.