Closing Time: Red Sox (including David Ortiz) hit home runs, take series from Indians

DJ Bean
August 19, 2015 - 6:21 pm
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The Red Sox didn't need all of their big bats to beat up on another Cleveland starter. They managed another offensive explosion with Xander Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez and Mookie Betts all on the bench Wednesday night. Boston's 6-4 win over the Indians Wednesday gave the Sox a series victory and continued what's been a positive stretch for the team offensively. The Sox had back-to-back homers twice in the game as the team scored at least six runs for the sixth time in the last seven games (4-3). The Sox held a comfortable lead for much of the game after putting up six runs on Indians starter Corey Kluber in the first four innings while Joe Kelly cruised through six innings, but a three-run homer from Johnny Gomes surrendered by Jean Machi brought the Indians within two in the eighth inning. The Red Sox were able to hold on thanks to a 1-2-3 ninth from Junichi Tazawa, good for his first save of the season. Leading the way both in the field and at the plate for the Sox was Jackie Bradley Jr., who belted a three-run homer in the fourth after having already turned in a pair of impressive defensive plays. The most impressive play in the field for Bradley came on a leaping over-the-shoulder catch in the first inning as he snagged a line drive from Francisco Lindor that was going over his head. "One of the best catches I've ever seen," Kelly said of the play. "I was messing around calling him -- you know, [he's] JBJ, but I was calling him OBJ -- Odell Beckham Jr. Pretty fun to watch." Bradley also took a good angle on another ball from Lindor that was headed for the triangle in the top of the fourth, holding Lindor to a single. The first of Boston's four home runs off Kluber was a second-inning solo shot from David Ortiz, bringing his career total to 492 dingers. Ortiz' homer was followed by a bases-empty blast from Travis Shaw, who now has six homers in the month of August. Shaw, who went 4-for-4 on Tuesday, also has two homers in the last three games. The Sox went back-to-back again in the fourth inning, with Ryan Hanigan crushing a ball over the Green Monster after Bradley's fifth homer of the season. The offensive provided strong run support for Kelly on a night when the starter actually didn't really need it. Kelly held the Indians to five hits over six innings of work, surrendering just an unearned run. Kelly walked three and struck out three as he lowered his ERA to a still-unimpressive 5.37 mark and picked up his fourth straight win (6-6). "Honestly, the offense and defense really played really well tonight," Kelly said. "Especially going up against one of the best pitchers in the game, the offense they put up today was pretty fun to watch." The sixth inning has been something of a benchmark for Kelly, who has not recorded an out past the sixth in any of his last 12 starts. He has pitched into the sixth in three consecutive starts dating back to August 7. Kluber, meanwhile, was able to provide the Indians with some innings after getting hit hard early. Though he surrendered four homers to the Sox and was tagged for six earned runs on six hits, he lasted six innings on a night that saw him strike out nine and walk one batter. While Bradley was sensational in center field, Rusney Castillo wasn't so smart in right field. With one out in the seventh inning and a runner on first, Castillo caught a fly ball and threw the ball into the crowd thinking the inning was over. With the way this season has gone, the Red Sox would have been silly to think they'd get through a generally positive game without something weird (or sloppy) happening.
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