Well, it wasn’t easy (has it ever been this season?), but the Red Sox managed to avoid another disastrous result in Cleveland — as Jackie Bradley Jr.’s solo shot in the top of the 10th inning helped Boston come away with a 7-6 victory at Progressive Field.
Holding on to a 6-1 lead at one point, the Red Sox were unable to hold off a red-hot Indians club — culminating in a game-tying double off the bat of Francisco Lindor in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings. Brandon Workman’s blown save in the ninth stood as the 22nd relinquished by Boston’s bullpen in 2019.
After Bradley gave Boston the lead in extras, Andrew Cashner closed things out in the bottom of the 10th — fanning two for the first save of his major league career.
Tuesday’s seesaw bout saw numerous records either broken or challenged — as Sox starter Chris Sale became the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach 2,000 career strikeouts. He stuck out 12 over 6.2 innings while surrendering five runs — three of which were earned. Rafael Devers also became the first Sox batter since Nomar Garciaparra to go 6-for-6 at the plate, with the Sox third baseman connecting on four doubles on the night.
Boston will close out its three-game series in Cleveland on Wednesday afternoon, with first pitch set for 1:10 p.m.
Mookie Betts RF
Rafael Devers 3B
Xander Bogaerts SS
J.D. Martinez DH
Andrew Benintendi LF
Mitch Moreland 1B
Marco Hernandez 2B
Sandy Leon C
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Francisco Lindor SS
Oscar Mercado CF
Carlos Santana 1B
Franmil Reyes DH
Jose Ramirez 3B
Roberto Perez C
Jason Kipnis 2B
Greg Allen LF
Tyler Naquin RF
Final: Andrew Cashner with the first save of his MLB career. Sox win, 7-6. What a wild one.
10th: Bradley goes yard. Red Sox take a 7-6 lead.
9th: And this game is tied. Workman relinquishes an RBI double to Lindor, and its a 6-6 game. That's the 22nd blown save by the Red Sox 'pen this year. On to extra innings.
8th: Well, there's a twist. Nathan Eovaldi — tomorrow's projected starter — gets the Red Sox out of the eighth inning. He only threw six pitches. Workman warming up now.
7th: Barnes gets out of the jam, leaving Lindor at third. On to the eighth.
7th: And the Indians are very much alive — Lindor drives in two, and Sale is pulled after 6 2/3 innings. Lindor is now in scoring position with Barnes entering the game. 6-5 game.
6th: And the Indians answer right back again — with Reyes lifting a two-run, opposite-field homer. Sale is going to want that one back. 6-3 game.
6th: Rafael Devers is now 4-for-4 tonight with three doubles. Red Sox lead, 6-1.
5th: Boston's bats respond after Santana's solo shot, with Moreland and Hernandez adding some insurance with RBI singles. 4-1 Red Sox.
4th: Now the Indians are on the board. Carlos Santana blasts a pitch from Sale into CF for a solo shot. Santana has now homered in three straight games. 2-1 game.
3rd: Red Sox continue to cruise along, with Chris Sale setting a new record as the fastest pitcher to reach 2,000 career strikeouts. He's up to five Ks through three innings tonight.
2nd: Red Sox add another run in the top of the second — with Betts driving in Hernandez with a single out to left field. Sandy Leon is cut down at third, but the run still counts.
1st: Good start for the Red Sox, as Rafael Devers drives in Mookie Betts with an RBI double — while Sale strikes out the side on just 13 pitches.
Chris Sale will start tonight’s game with 1,995 career strikeouts in 1,623.0 IP...According to Elias, the MLB record for fewest innings needed to reach 2,000 SO belongs to Pedro Martinez (1,711.1). … J.D. Martinez has an active 11-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the majors and his 3rd of 10+ games this season. … The only other players with as many as 3 hitting streaks of 10+ games in 2019 are Rafael Devers, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon, and Nicholas Castellanos (3 each). … Marcus Walden had allowed 0 hits to 31 consecutive batters faced before allowing a walk-off HR to Carlos Santana last night (0-for-25, 5 BB, 1 HBP). … The Red Sox feature the AL’s only 3 players batting .300+ with 24+ HR (Devers, Martinez, Bogaerts)...The Sox have never finished a season with 3 players batting .300+ with 30+ HR, and only 9 teams have ever done that (last: 2004 Cardinals).