BOSTON (AP)Kyle Schwarber hit a leadoff homer in the first inning, then delivered a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh that sent the Boston Red Sox over the Cleveland Indians 8-5 on Friday night.
Hunter Renfroe added a three-run homer in the seventh as Boston won its third straight, holding its spot for the second AL wild-card spot with 25 games remaining in the regular season.
Kevin Plawecki and Jonathan Arauz also homered for the Red Sox, who added their ninth player to the COVID-related injured list in a one-week span earlier Friday yet won again with a piecemeal lineup.
”The guys hit fantastic tonight. I thought we had great plate discipline,” Renfroe said. ”I think that’s what we’re trying towards more is team at-bats and moving guys over.”
Jose Ramirez hit his 33rd homer for Cleveland and added an RBI single in the ninth. Austin Hedges hit a two-run homer in the seventh, tying the game at 3-all briefly before Boston batted around.
”That’s a big hit by Hedgie, there. It’s too bad that we couldn’t finish it off, but I thought we showed good resilience,” said Cal Quantrill, who took the loss.
The Indians had won four in a row.
Nathan Eovaldi struck out nine in 6 1-3 innings for the Red Sox, allowing three runs on six hits and a pair of walks. Adam Ottavino (4-3) replaced Eovaldi in the seventh and ended up with the win. Garrett Whitlock got the last four outs for Boston for his second save.
Quantrill (4-3) pitched six-plus innings, recovering from a shaky start and reaching the seventh. He was pulled after Arauz followed a leadoff walk with a double, starting what would become a five-run burst for Boston.
”It kind of got away from us a little bit in that inning with the five runs,” Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said.
Trevor Stephan came in from the bullpen to face Schwarber, who lined a double to right-center to put Boston back up 5-3 and delivered an emphatic fist-pump toward the Red Sox dugout from second base.
”He’s just such a good hitter,” Boston manger Alex Cora said.
Schwarber’s led off with a homer for the eighth time this season, the most in the majors. The first seven came with Washington, which traded Schwarber to the Red Sox just before the deadline in July. In 18 games with the Red Sox, Schwarber is 22 for 64 (.344) with four home runs.
Schwarber was actually going to start at first base, but shifted to left field when Cora had to tweak the lineup once again.
”He understands. He’s a professional and all he wants to do is contribute. He wants to win, which is the most important thing,” Cora said.
Ramirez’s leadoff homer in the fourth extended the Indians’ streak of consecutive games with a home run to 17, two shy of the club record set in May 2000.
Hale said his players remained upbeat in the dugout even after Boston’s big seventh inning.
”We still had two more innings to go,” Hale said. ”In this ballpark, anything can happen. It’s kind of good to see and continue to see that this team is battling. We turn the page on this one real quick, though.”
Red Sox 2B Jack Lopez, who just made his big league debut Wednesday, got his first hit in the majors when he doubled to left-center in the second inning.
Indians: RHP Aaron Civale will likely return to the big league roster for his next start rather than make another rehab start in the minors, acting manager Hale said. Civale (10-2, 3.32 ERA) has been out since late June with an injured middle finger on his throwing hand. The Indians return to Cleveland next week and open a four-game series against Minnesota on Monday.
Red Sox: Added OF Jarren Duran on the COVID-19-related injured list Friday, bringing the team’s total to nine players added to the list in a span of a week. Manager Alex Cora said INF Kike Hernandez was feeling better, but unlikely to return to the lineup this weekend. INF Christian Arroyo could return by the middle of the week and SS Xander Bogaerts could be back by the weekend, Cora said. . LHP Darwinzon Hernandez (right oblique strain) is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Sunday. ”He feels close to 100%,” Cora said. ”I do believe he’ll be with us soon.” . Recalled C Connor Wong from Triple-A Worcester.
Indians RHP Eli Morgan (2-6, 5.98 ERA) faces Red Sox RHP Tanner Houck (0-3, 3.63) in a rematch of starters from Sunday’s game at Cleveland. Neither figured in the decision of the Indians’ 7-5 victory.
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