Mike Napoli made his old team pay, hitting a game-winning home run Wednesday. (David Richard/USA Today Sports)

Closing Time: Mike Napoli punctuates Indians' win over Red Sox with blast

Rob Bradford
April 06, 2016 - 5:51 pm
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CLEVELAND -- This was what people were wary of. What worked so well on Opening Day -- solid starting pitching, and lock-down relief -- was nowhere to be found on Day 2. The result? The Indians beating the Red Sox, 7-6, Wednesday night at Progressive Field. A day after David Price did his ace thing, Clay Buchholz looked anything but, lasting just four innings. The No. 2 starter gave up five runs, leaving after issuing a leadoff walk to Jason Kipnis in the fifth inning. And while the Red Sox did manage a spirited comeback to take a one-run lead in the sixth inning, the bullpen, which didn't allow a run in three innings Tuesday, couldn't repeat its effectiveness. First, Noe Ramirez gave the lead right back thanks to a Juan Uribe sacrifice fly. Then, pitching on his second straight day, Junichi Tazawa allowed the back-breaker, a seventh-inning, solo blast to former teammate Mike Napoli. For a complete box score, click here. Closing Time note David Ortiz's sixth-inning solo homer put him past Eddie Murray for 26th on the all-time HR list, notching his 505th of his career. WHAT WENT WRONG The Sox gave away outs: Hanley Ramirez wasn't able to execute what seemed like an opportunity for a 3-6-3 double play on a grounder of Francisco Lindor in the second inning, and it cost the Red Sox a run. Ramirez wasn't able to come up with the hard hit grounder right at him with Tyler Naquin at first, limiting just the one out at first base. One batter later, Jose Ramirez singled to center field to score Naquin with the hosts' fifth run. The Red Sox might have had a chance to gun out Naquin at home, but Jackie Bradley Jr.'s usually accurate throwing arm let him down, sending catcher Blake Swihart way up the first base line. Also not helping matters was Ramirez failing to position himself for the cut-off in the middle of the diamond. This was not the good Clay: For the first time in Buchholz's career, he threw as many as 95 pitches while last four or fewer innings. It put the righty's ERA at 11.25, the highest he's had since his first start in 2014, giving up six runs over 4 1/3 innings against Milwaukee. For more on Buchholz's outing, click here. Pablo couldn't make triumphant debut: Pablo Sandoval finally got into a game, coming on to pinch-hit for Chris Young with Ramirez in scoring position and two outs in the seventh. But Sandoval, who would ultimately go in to play third base for the final few innings, ended the inning with a line out to center field against righty Zach McAllister. WHAT WENT RIGHT Holt goes deep: Brock Holt, who managed just two homers in 2015 and has six for his major league career, brought the Red Sox within a pair of runs with his two-run blast in the second inning. The homer, which cleared the right field fence, scored Travis Shaw, who led off the frame with an opposite-field single. Back-to-back magic: Just when it looked like Buchholz had buried the Red Sox in a hole they couldn't escape from, back-to-back homers by Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez in the sixth inning against Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco brought the Sox within a run. It was the first time since 2011 Carrasco had given up three home runs in a game. Aggressiveness pays off: The Red Sox capped their four-run sixth inning with another aggressive baserunning play, with Holt waiting out a ground ball to third base off the bat of Mookie Betts, and then racing home after Juan Uribe got the out at first. The same aggressiveness worked in the opener, which the coaching staff reminded the team to keep going in Game No. 2. You want JBJ up with the bags full: Jackie Bradley Jr. knotted the game at 5 with a sacrifice fly off of lefty Ross Detwiler. It was notable because, 1, It came on the first pitch, which Bradley Jr. continues to attack; and 2, Bradley Jr. now is 4-for-4 with a walk, sacrifice fly and 10 RBIs with the bases loaded since the beginning of last season. There was some defense: Bradley Jr. made the defensive play of the game, robbing Yan Gomes of potential extra-bases in the seventh by laying out for a liner in the right-center field gap.