The Red Sox defeated the Indians in convincing fashion Wednesday, sending the American League's best to a 14-2 defeat in the rubber game of their series in Cleveland.
Despite having J.D. Drew and Kevin Youkilis held out of the lineup with minor injury concerns, the Red Sox got off to a red-hot start against Cleveland starter Mitch Talbot and never looked back. Making his first start after a month-long trip to the disabled list, Talbot proved entirely hittable for the Sox. Jacoby Ellsbury took his second pitch--a flat middle-middle fastball--and shot it into center field for the first of what would be nine hits in the inning. Dustin Pedroia quickly followed up by showing the benefits of his day off Tuesday, crushing a 3-1 fastball for his first home run in over a month and giving the Sox a 2-0 lead.
The next couple of baserunners for the Red Sox were a bit flukier, with Adrian Gonzalez squeezing a ground ball just past the gloves of two infielders in the shift, and David Ortiz swatting one off of Mitch Talbot's glove and then dodging the tag when the throw to first pulled Matt LaPorta off the bag. But after Jed Lowrie grounded out, the Sox went right back to solid hits, with Carl Crawford and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both singling on hard contact. Mike Cameron hit a sacrifice fly to bring Crawford home, Drew Sutton dropped a bloop single into center, and both Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia collected their second hits of the inning to top it off. By the time all was said and done, the Sox led 7-0.
The Red Sox would add eleven more hits and another seven runs before the game was over, highlighted by home runs from David Ortiz, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Carl Crawford (who finished the game 4-for-4). A huge offensive night by any measurement, but not one that would wind up being necessary.
After three straight mediocre starts, Red Sox finally got to see the old Jon Lester again Wednesday. After allowing a pair of two-out singles in the first, Lester locked in like he rarely has before, sitting down fifteen straight Indians, six of them by way of the strikeout. While he would leave after six innings and 97 pitches, they were very much the kind of innings that the Sox need and expect out of Lester.
Franklin Morales would allow a couple of runs in his second appearance with the Red Sox to lose the shutout, but perhaps more importantly the Sox saw Dan Wheeler go out and put up a clean inning. They'll need more of those from him as the year goes on. Scott Atchison closed the deal in rapid fashion, and the Red Sox left Cleveland with a series win.