The Red Sox took full advantage of a wild Ubaldo Jimenez, blowing past the Indians despite a shaky performance from their own starter in Felix Doubront.
The first inning would give no real sign of things to come for either side. A couple of first-pitch balls and a single 3-0 count to Shane Victorino was were the only hints that Ubaldo wasn't in control, as the Red Sox went down in order on ground balls. Felix Doubront likewise got through the first without much trouble, needing a relatively low 13 pitches to retire the top of Cleveland's lineup.
Then came the second, and the Red Sox were off to the races. Sort of. It was Mike Napoli who got things started with a leadoff double into center, but from there the attack slowed to a plodding--but entirely effective--crawl. Will Middlebrooks worked a six-pitch walk to give the Red Sox first-and-second, and while one of Boston's most patient hitters in Daniel Nava went down swinging, Jonny Gomes was content to watch all five pitches offered him sail by for just one strike and four balls. Now with the bases loaded, Jimenez' next walk--to David Ross on six pitches--was good for a run.
Jimenez would get his second out of the inning from Pedro Ciriaco, who made good contact but shot a line drive directly to Ryan Raburn in right, leaving him with just a sacrifice fly. Jacoby Ellsbury was more fortunate with his line drive, staying back on a misplaced changeup and shooting it back up the middle off a diving Asdrubal Cabrera's glove for an RBI single. Ellsbury would go on to steal second, but a Shane Victorino walk loaded the bases all the same for Dustin Pedroia, who drew a walk of his own, scoring a fourth run and ending Jimenez' night in the process.
Now, it must be said for Cody Allen that he had quite an impressive night in relief of Jimenez, sparing the bullpen as well as he could and striking out six batters in just three innings of work. And, certainly, all of the innings that were really his went up on the scoreboard as zeroes. But unfortunately for Cleveland, he was just a bit slow to start. Still in need of a third out in the second, Allen battled Napoli to a 3-2 count, and then gave up the hit that effectively ended the game--a long fly ball that bounced off the base of the wall in left-center, clearing the bases. The Red Sox went up 7-0.
Frankly, for the most part, that was all she wrote. The Indians would grab a lone run back in the bottom half of the inning, and for a while there in the fifth things got a little sketchy, as Doubront loaded the bases with just one out. In the end, though, the Indians would get only one more run in that fifth, coming on a very wild pitch, and no more as Clayton Mortensen and Alex Wilson combined for four strong innings to keep Boston's lead intact and their bullpen rested. With the win, the Red Sox moved to 9-4 on the season, and are riding a four-game winning streak into Wednesday's game, when they will have a chance to make it four series wins in five attempts.