All you need to know about today's game is that Carlos Santana was put into left field in the sixth inning. That's how bad it got as Indians pitchers got shellacked for 14 runs and the offense managed four times more strikeouts than hits against Jon Lester en route to a 14-1 defeat on a sunny Sunday in downtown Cleveland. It began ugly and then got uglier as the Red Sox had the game out of reach by the third inning.
Corey Kluber, who got robbed of his first Major League win in his last start when Chris Perez blew the save against the Minnesota Twins, got the first out of the game, but then allowed back-to-back doubles and a two-run bomb from Adrian Gonzalez to put the Tribe behind 3-0 before they even came to bat. The Indians scratched out their lone run in the bottom half of the first on a couple of singles and a Carlos Santana sacrifice fly.
Boston hitters were tripping over each other to get to the bat rack against Kluber as he gave up two more runs in the second and another in the fourth. In the second, Kluber gave up a leadoff single to Mike Aviles and then retired the next two hitters. With two outs, Jacoby Ellsbury singled and then Carl Crawford doubled both runners home to push the lead to 5-1. In the fourth, the Red Sox added another run on a hit by pitch, stolen base, and RBI single from our old friend Kelly Shoppach.
Fans all over Northeast Ohio tried valiantly to shield the women and children from the fifth inning. With Josh Tomlin on the mound, batting practice commenced. The Red Sox scored eight runs on six hits, including three doubles, and sent 14 men to the plate. Ironically, the only out Tomlin recorded in the fourth before being replaced by Frank Herrmann was a strike out of Shoppach. Herrmann didn't fare much better, walking Pedroia and then allowing him and inherited runner Ellsbury to score on a double from Gonzalez.
The numbers for Kluber and Tomlin were not good. In 4.2 innings of work, they combined to allow 13 runs on 12 hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
Regardless of what else happened, the best development was that Carlos Santana moved to left field in the sixth. He made a routine play look less than routine as he backpedaled all the way to a ball hit about about 15 feet over his head. He also made a play ranging to his right towards the left field corner in the seventh.
The Tribe tried to put together a rally in the seventh with Lester finally out of the game. Lou Marson reached on an infield single and Ezequiel Carrera doubled to left center with two outs, but Jason Donald struck out for the third time to end the inning. That was the only sniff of a scoring opportunity that they had after the first inning.
With the loss, the Indians fell to 53-62. Corey Kluber took the loss while Jon Lester won his first game since late June. It'll be a long flight to Anaheim for the Tribe.
Stat of the Night: Today's game marked the 14th time that Indians pitchers have allowed 10 runs or more in a game. The Indians are 0-14 in those games. The Indians are now 5-30 when trailing after the first inning.
Player of the Game: Carlos Santana. He had the lone RBI and managed to play a more competent left field than Johnny Damon.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians take the long trip out to Anaheim to open a nine-game road trip. Justin Masterson will face CJ Wilson at 10:05 p.m.