The Red Sox enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 win over the Indians Saturday night, getting to Zach McAllister early while Felix Doubront and the bullpen kept the Cleveland lineup in check all game long.
After Zach McAllister enjoyed the benefit of unfamiliarity the first time through the lineup, the Sox got through to him the second time 'round. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each doubled in a two-run third, and Mike Aviles brought a third run in on a sacrifice fly in a fourth inning that could have been much bigger were it not for some bad luck and good defense.
Felix Doubront, meanwhile, was at his best, allowing just one hit through five innings while striking out five. He even seemed to have a low enough pitch count to get into the seventh--a rare occurrence for the somewhat inefficient lefty. That would change in the sixth, with a leadoff double scoring on a groundout that became a single when Doubront failed to cover first.
The southpaw would manage to escape the inning without any further damage, however, and from there the Sox cruised. Cody Ross got them their run back in the bottom half of the sixth with a moonshot over everything in left, and Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla, and Alfredo Aceves closed things out by retiring all nine of the batters they faced.
Felix Strong: Felix Doubront was strong in his first start since a messy game against the Royals. While he lived more through spotting his pitches on the edge of a wide zone for strikeouts rather than his utilizing his usual swing-and-miss stuff, the results were as good as he's seen all year, with three hits and two walks compared to five strikeouts in six innings of one-run ball. But for a lengthy six, he could have made it well into the seventh, too, as his pitch count, if still high for a low-offense game, was under control.
Great Work From The Pen: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9 went the last three innings of the game for a Boston bullpen that, if not lights out, is suddenly very impressive. They entered tonight's game with a 1.75 ERA in May, and leave with a 1.66.