Closing Time: Red Sox solve Justin Masterson, Indians for fifth straight win

Rob Bradford
April 17, 2013 - 6:31 pm

The Red Sox jumped all over one of the best pitchers in this  young season, Cleveland'€™s Justin Masterson, and never looked back. The Sox saw their first five hitters of the game reach base on the way to a three-run first inning. When it was all said and done at Progressive Field, the Red Sox had come away with a 6-3 win over the Indians on Wednesday night. The win was the fifth straight victory for the Red Sox (10-4), the longest such streak since June 16-21, 2012. The Sox are six games over .500 for the first time since 2011. The first-inning runs were the first given up by Masterson in 19 innings, with the former Red Sox hurler having not previously allowed an opponent to cross the plate since April 2. The 15 hits by the Red Sox matched a season high, having pounded out an equal amount in their April 7 win in Toronto. Here is what went right (and wrong) for the red-hot Red Sox. WHAT WENT RIGHT '€¢ Alfredo Aceves stretched the streak of Red Sox starters allowing three runs or less to 14 games to start the season. Aceves finished his five-plus innings giving up three runs on seven hits, throwing 106 pitches. '€¢ Mike Carp'€™s three extra-base hits (2 doubles, triple) matched the total number of extra-base hits surrendered by Masterson in the pitcher'€™s previous three outings. '€¢ The Red Sox hitters came out the gate taking the ball the other way against Masterson, with eight of their 11 hits against the right-hander going to the opposite field. '€¢ Daniel Nava rebounded from his four-strikeout game Tuesday with a pair of hits and two RBIs. '€¢ Shane Victorino had one his best games as a Red Sox, coming away with his second three-hit game of the season while making a few key defensive plays in right field. The most notable contribution with his glove came in the third inning when he threw out Lonnie Chisenhall trying to stretch a single into a double to lead off the frame. '€¢ Junichi Tazawa cleaned up Aceves'€™ mess in the sixth inning, coming on to throw two perfect innings, striking out his last four batters. WHAT WENT WRONG '€¢ The Red Sox left 10 men on base, It was the fourth time this season the Sox have left 10 or more on base, though John Farrell'€™s team has won all four. The Sox squandered some golden opportunities early on, not scoring despite loading the bases in both the second and fourth innings. '€¢ Aceves wore down in the sixth, allowing back-to-back homers to Nick Swisher and Jason Giambi to cut the Sox'€™ lead to two.