BOSTON – After getting swept in three games in Cleveland last week to start their recently completed nine-game road trip, on which they went 2-7, the Red Sox desperately needed a reason for optimism.
The Sox got back into the win column Thursday night, beating the Indians, 5-2, in the first of their four-game series against the Indians at Fenway Park.
Jon Lester earned the win, improving to 7-7, lowering his ERA from 3.52 to 3.33. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on eight hits, a walk, and four strikeouts.
Josh Tomlin took the loss, going 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on nine hits and two walks, with three strikeouts, a home run, and a wild pitch. He falls to 4-3, with a 3.33 ERA.
The Red Sox got a run in the second when Mike Napoli led off, reaching on an error. Napoli went to third on Daniel Nava’s single and scored on Grady Sizemore’s ground rule double.
With two outs in the fifth David Ortiz’s 15th home run of the season scored Jackie Bradley, who led off with single.
The Indians cut the Sox lead in the top of the sixth when Jason Kipnis’ single to scored Michael Bourn, who reached on an error by Lester, and Michael Brantley, who had doubled.
In the bottom of the inning, the Sox extended their lead when Jonathan Herrera hit a two-out single, Bradley walked, and Brock Holt’s double off the wall in left scored both.
Junichi Tazawa relieved Lester in the eighth, with two outs and Kipnis on first after a single. Tazawa struck out Carlos Santana to end the inning.
Koji Uehara pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save.