The Boston Red Sox welcomed a return to the confines of friendly Fenway after a dismal 2-7 road trip. The club was firing on all cylinders Thursday night. A perfect combination of timely hitting, dominant pitching and tremendous defense helped push the Sox past the Cleveland Indians, 5-2.
Boston opened up their upcoming seven-game homestand on the right foot, and such a win was desperately needed. The team scratched across just a one run in three games in Baltimore prior. With the lineup struggling to tread water, David Ortiz led the charge, among others.
Grady Sizemore opened up the scoring in the second, driving home a run with a double to right. In the fifth, Ortiz belted a towering blast to center. The homer plated two, giving the Sox a 3-0 lead.
Sizemore also made a nifty catch on a flyball hit by Mike Aviles. He leaned into the right field seats to haul in a foul ball in the fifth.
Jon Lester was downright dazzling. In earning his seventh victory of the season, the southpaw struck out four, scattering eight hits over 7 2/3 innings of work.
Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis each drove in runs in the sixth, but it was all the Indians would manage to muster up in the contest.
The Sox bounced back in the home half of the sixth as an unlikely source of offensive sparked a strong inning. Jonathan Herrera belted a triple with two outs. Brock Holt then delivered a two-run double after Jackie Bradley made it aboard on a walk.
Daniel Nava banged out three hits in the game. Mike Napoli added a pair of his own.
Bradley arguably turned in the play of the game, and perhaps of his career in the seventh. With one Indian on base, Michael Bourne drove a pitch deep to center. Bradley snagged the ball as he sprinted back to the edge of the warning track. He then turned and rifled a bullet to first base where Aviles was doubled off to end the inning.
Koji Uehara was called upon to close out the game. It was lights out as usual. He now has 14 saves on the season.
The once lifeless Sox offense will look to build upon an overall impressive showing in the second game of a four game set Friday night. John Lackey will oppose Justin Masterson in the tilt.