The Indians out slugged an explosive Boston Red Sox lineup for a second consecutive night Tuesday at Progressive Field to push their winning streak to a season-high five games.
The Indians offense got to veteran Boston starter Jake Peavy early and then with a death blow late to secure the 5-3 win, once again led by the clutch hitting of Michael Bourn. The centerfielder was 2-for-4 with a game-winning two-RBI double.
Before Peavy managed to settle in, the Tribe used five consecutive singles in the bottom of the first inning to produce a 3-0 lead that featured RBI hits by Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall.
But the Red Sox slowly chipped away at the deficit, beginning with a Xander Bogaerts solo homerun in the third inning – his second consecutive game with a homer.
Boston added a sixth-inning run on a Jonathan Herrera RBI single that came against Marc Rzepczynski, but was charged to Tribe starter T.J. House, who left with a lead but didn’t figure into the decision despite holding Boston to two runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Back-to-back doubles dished up by Indians reliever Scott Atchison allowed the Red Sox to pull into a 3-3 in the seventh. But Indians left-hander Nick Hagadone made his first appearance of the season a memorable one, striking out A.J. Pierzynski with a ball in dirt and Alex Hassan with high heat to escape the jam without giving up the lead.
"It was a big moment in the game," Hagadone said. "To be back up here and have some success, it feels good."
After Hagadone got out of the seventh, the Tribe mounted a rally in the bottom of the inning and chased Peavy from the game with two on and one out. But even with nasty lefty Andrew Miller being called upon to face the left-handed hitting Bourn, he continued his hot streak at the plate with a two-run double blasted over the head of left fielder Jonny Gomes that put the Indians back on top by two runs.
"You're kind of hanging on for dear life and then when they tied it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We came back and Bourny had a really good at-bat. (Miller) is not a fun lefty to face from the left side."
After spotting the Indians the early runs, Peavy settled in to retire a string of 14 batters. But the Indians were patient and finally broke through against the right-hander again in the seventh to put an unhappy end to his outing. In 6 1/3 innings, Peavy dished up five runs on eight hits to take the loss.
The Tribe threatened again in the eighth inning, loading the bases with just one out, but Yan Gomes hit into an inning-ending double play. Although an insurance run or two would have been nice, Indians closer Cody Allen came on to retire the final RedSox batter of the eighth inning. He then went on to retire the side in the ninth – including pinch-hitter Grady Sizemore - to secure the victory and notch his fifth save.