Indians Top Sox In ALDS Opener
The Cleveland Indians used some offensive fire power and dominant pitching out of the bullpen to outlast the Boston Red Sox, 5-4, in game one of the ALDS Thursday night.
Boston had a couple of early leads on the night, but starter Rick Porcello failed to live up to his regular season form and keep the Sox on top. After taking a 1-0 lead in the first, Porcello surrendered the tying run in the bottom of the second.
Boston, once again, gave the AL Cy Young Award front runner a one-run lead, after rookie Andrew Benintendi took Cleveland's Trevor Baur deep in his first career postseason at-bat in the third.
A second opportunity to play from ahead appeared even less enticing to Porcello, however, as the 22-game winner quickly gave up a lead off homer to Cleveland's defensive minded catcher Roberto Perez in the bottom half of the inning. To make matters worse, Porcello allowed two more solo shots in the inning on back-to-back jacks by second baseman Jason Kipnis and shortstop Francisco Lindor.
From there, Indians skipper and former Boston manager Terry Francona, relied heavily on his bullpen, going to top reliever Andrew Miller with two outs in the top of the fifth. Miller allowed a double to the first batter he faced and walked the second, before showing the Red Sox exactly why he is considered one of the top relievers in the game.
The next six batters the lefty faced were all retired, including four who were sent back to the dugout via the strikeout.
All in all, it was a dominating performance from the late inning threat, who was thrust into early duty.
When Miller departed after two scoreless innings the Indians had a 5-3 lead.
Boston got one back in the eighth on a solo shot by Brock Holt off of Bryan Shaw, who was working in what is typically Miller's role. Unfortunately for Boston, that homer forced Francona to summon his second bulldog out of the pen, as he brought in closer Cody Allen with one out in the inning.
Allen matched the excellence of Miller, ending Boston's chances in the eighth then striking out the side to close things out and give the Tribe a 1-0 series lead.
For Cleveland the win is huge, as they send their best pitcher, Corey Kluber, to the mound in tomorrow's Game 2 with a win in hand.
For Boston, when they needed Porcello the most, he gave the team maybe his worst outing of the season. Now the Red Sox are forced to send David Price, who has been just plain bad in the postseason throughout the career, to the mound in a game they really need to win to stay in the series.
In 14 postseason games, Price has posted a 5.12 ERA and 2-7 record.
Perez: 2-3, HR, 2 R, RBI (& some tremndous defensive play including an impressive tag at home in the first that cut down a Boston run and ultimately proved to be the difference)
Kipnis: 3-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
Miller & Allen: 3.2 innings, 3 hits, BB, 8 Ks, 0 R
Betts/Bogaerts/Bradley: 0-11, BB, 7 Ks, 0 R
Benintendi: 2-4, HR, RBI, R
All Stats here.