CLEVELAND — Trevor Bauer returned to the mound with a short outing and Shane Bieber was roughed up in a four-run inning as the Indians fell 7-5 to the Boston Red Sox Friday night at Progressive Field.
Bauer’s first start in more than a month was the main storyline as it relates to the Indians' bigger picture, and it went off without a hitch. Bauer was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Friday after sustaining a stress fracture in his right fibula when he was hit by a ball in August. He was only slated to throw a couple of innings, manager Terry Francona said earlier in the week.
Bauer tossed 34 pitches, registering four outs. He allowed two hits and a walk and struck out one. He will next start against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday, when he is expected to be lengthened out a bit further.
Tyler Olson finished the second inning, allowing Shane Bieber to come in with a clean inning. Bieber pitched 4 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, allowing Bauer to get his work in. But with the Indians leading 4-2 in the seventh, the Red Sox (105-49) knocked Bieber around to retake the lead.
Sam Travis doubled in two runs, Tzu-Wei Lin singled in another and, after Neil Ramirez relieved Bieber, Rafael Devers singled to left to make it a four-run seventh, giving the Red Sox a 6-4 lead.
Travis in the third inning and Devers in the sixth each hit solo home runs off Bieber earlier in the game. It was Travis’ first career home run.
Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale, one of the leading candidates for the American League Cy Young Award along with Bauer, entered Friday’s game with the league’s longest scoreless streak (32 innings) and the longest streak without allowing a home run (72 innings). Both of those streaks were snapped with one swing in the fourth inning when Sale left a fastball over the middle of the plate and Josh Donaldson belted it for a solo home run over the 19-foot wall in left field.
It was Donaldson's seventh home run this season and the second since he joined the Indians.
A few batters later, and after reliever Heath Hembree entered the game, Yan Gomes launched a two-run shot to left field that gave the Indians a 3-1 lead.
Jose Ramirez drove in two runs, one on a sacrifice fly in the fifth and another on a ball that was misplayed by Travis in left field that was ruled a double.
Trailing 6-5, the Indians (85-68) loaded the bases in the eighth but came up empty, as Red Sox reliever Robby Scott retired Michael Brantley on a harmless flyout in foul territory down the left-field line.
Lin added a solo home run off Dan Otero in the ninth, and the Indians couldn’t answer in the bottom half of the inning.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at @ByRyanLewis.