BOSTON (AP) – The Red Sox put on a nice show in their first game under the new boss.
David Ortiz hit his 492nd career homer, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Ryan Hanigan connected on consecutive pitches, and Joe Kelly went six strong innings to lead Boston to a 6-4 win over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
The victory came a day after the Red Sox shook up their front office, hiring Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations. General manager Ben Cherington declined to stay after he helps with the transition.
“I think it would be very positive,” interim manager Torey Lovullo said when asked what he thought his new boss would think. “Our pitcher came out and set a very aggressive tone – Joe Kelly six innings, no earned runs. We did a good job. … We played with energy and drove the baseball offensively.”
Travis Shaw also homered following Ortiz’s solo shot for the Red Sox, who have won four of six.
Boston’s homers all came off Corey Kluber (8-13), last season’s AL Cy Young Award winner.
Yan Gomes hit a three-run shot for the Indians, who have lost four of five.
Kelly (6-6) gave up one unearned run on five hits, striking out three and walking three to win his fourth straight start. Junichi Tazawa worked the ninth for his first save.
“The offense and defense played really well tonight, especially the offense against one of the best pitchers in the game,” Kelly said.
Leading 2-0 in the fourth, Bradley hit a three-run homer off the base of a light stanchion above the Green Monster. The ball caromed onto the field while Bradley was scampering around second on a relay throw home before the umpires could get the players’ attention.
“He was missing a bunch of bats to get the strikeouts, but he made some mistakes with his fastball and paid the price,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “In this ballpark what might be a double to left field can be a home run.”
Hanigan followed by hitting his completely out of Fenway Park, clearing the Monster seats to make it 6-0.
Kluber gave up six runs in six innings, striking out nine and walking one. He was coming off a one-hit complete game in his previous start Friday against Minnesota.
“I mean they hit two popups that accounted for four runs,” Kluber said. “Other than that was pretty good.”
Bradley also made a nice over-the-shoulder catch in full stride.
Ortiz and Shaw homered in the second. Ortiz’s sailed into Cleveland’s bullpen just beyond the reach of right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley had three hits and was the DH for the third straight game. Francona didn’t know when he’d return to the outfield after missing three games with a sore left shoulder.
Red Sox: SS Xander Bogaerts and OF Mookie Betts each had a scheduled day off. LF Hanley Ramirez also was out of the lineup. Lovullo said it was planned after Ramirez played two consecutive days following a stint where he missed seven straight with a bruised left foot.
Boston RF Rusney Castillo caught the second out in the seventh, turned and threw the ball into the bleachers. Abraham Almonte, on first, was awarded third by rule. A wild throw out of play from an outfielder is two bases for the runner(s).
Kelly gave Bradley Jr. a new nickname after his acrobatic catch in the first. “Instead of JBJ, I was calling him OBJ – Odell Beckham Jr.,” Kelly said.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin (0-1) makes his second start after returning from shoulder surgery in spring training when Cleveland opens a four-game series in Yankee Stadium against RHP Ivan Nova (5-4) on Thursday.
Red Sox: LHP Wade Miley (9-9) is set to go against Kansas City’s LHP Danny Duffy (6-5) in the opener of a four-game series at Fenway on Thursday.
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