Even after last night’s loss, the Red Sox still won the season series against the Cleveland Indians. There were a couple nice wins in there, like the Christian Vazquez walk off and the win against Corey Kluber on Wednesday. Unfortunately though, two of those three losses against the Indians came with Chris Sale as the starting pitcher. Throughout his career, the Indians have been the team that has given Sale the most trouble, and that was proven yet again on Thursday night. The lefty could only make it through three full innings before being lifted. The Indians scored a season-high seven runs (six earned) off of Sale in those three innings. In his shortest start of 2017, Sale did not look like himself and may have improved Corey Kluber’s case for the Cy Young Award. I don’t know if the Indians have some exclusive information on Sale, but they seem to have his number. Another concerning statistic is the fact that Sale is known to sort of give out as the season progresses into the later months of August, September, October. I’m not going to say I;m worried about Chris Sale, but it’s something to pay attention to.
In relief of Sale, the Red Sox bullpen did not do much to keep the lineup in the game. Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Blaine Boyer, and Fernando Abad combined to pitch five innings while allowing six runs on eleven hits. Abad, who has only pitched four times this month, and he was the only pitcher to not allow an earned run. So, not the best series for the ‘pen in Cleveland, a place they’re probably going to have to visit in the postseason.
On the other side of things, Mitch Moreland carried the offense. After the Indians took a 4-0 lead into the third, Moreland responded by launching his first of two home runs on the day. The Indians tacked on another three runs in their half of the third, but the Red Sox responded again. A Mookie Betts leadoff double and a Rafael Devers walk led to Xander Bogaerts driving in both on an RBI triple. Next batter up, Mitch Moreland, drove in his second RBI of the game on an RBI single, making it a 7-4 game. That would be the only real offense until the eighth, where the Indians extended the lead to 13-4. In that inning, Mitch Moreland blasted another home run, his second of the day and seventeenth of the season.
We also got to see Rajai Davis make his Red Sox debut last night. Mookie Betts had to leave the game with a right knee contusion after slamming his knee into the right field wall while trying to make a catch in the seventh. It was cool to see Davis get a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd for his efforts in the postseason last year.
A series split isn’t the worst thing, and now the Red Sox will look to take care of the Orioles back at Fenway starting tonight. Rick Porcello makes the start in this one to kick off Player’s Weekend.
73 down, ? to go.