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Red Sox Vs. Indians: Sox Hold Slim 3-2 Lead Through Four Messy Innings

The Red Sox hold a 3-2 lead over the Indians, but have hurt themselves with some messy play early on.

John Lackey opened the game with his only 1-2-3 first inning of the year, striking out two batters along the way, and nearly got all the way through the Indians' lineup without allowing a baserunner before Ezequiel Carrera put an end to that with a soft line drive just past a diving Dustin Pedroia's glove.

The biggest issues for Lackey so far have come with runners on base. After Carrera reached (and made his way to second on an errant throw from the outfield), Lackey served up an easy pitch to Michael Brantley, who doubled Carrera home. And with Asdrubal Cabrera on first in the fourth, a line drive made its way past Kevin Youkilis to move him to third, where a ground ball out brought him home.

There's been some issues for the Sox offense, too. While three straight hits from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Josh Reddick, and Marco Scutaro led to a run in the second, Reddick was caught between third and home on Jacoby Ellsbury's ensuing groundout. That sort of thing is unavoidable, though. What isn't is Kevin Youkilis being thrown out trying to score after an errant throw on his RBI triple. With no outs in the inning, Youkilis was all-but guaranteed to score, but because he chose to try and go all the way in one burst, he was dead in the water. Carl Crawford's home run later in the inning just made it that much worse.

Still, the Sox have a 3-2 lead despite their sloppy play, and John Lackey has pitched fairly well regardless of the two runs on the board.