The Indians’ magic came to an end at least for one night tonight when four different baserunners were thrown out, two on outfield assists from Jacoby Ellsbury and two caught stealing from catcher Jason Varitek, and Varitek’s two-run homer in the seventh proved to be the difference as Boston evened this three-game series with a 4-2 win at Progressive Field.
In innings two through five, Cleveland lost a runner on the bases in each frame, In the second, Ezequiel Carrera gave the Tribe a 1-0 lead with an RBI single with two outs, but Orlando Cabrera was thrown out at third to end the inning on the hit.
In the Boston third the Red Sox took the lead on a Jed Lowrie sacrifice fly and an Adrian Gonzalez double off of Fausto Carmona (3-5, 4.73 ERA).
Carmona then held the Sox off the board until the seventh, when Varitek’s blast scored David Ortiz, putting Boston up 4-1.
The Indians got a run in the bottom of the ninth off of Jonathan Papelbon on Travis Buck’s second homer, and Matt LaPorta almost hit one out with two outs but came up just short, as Papelbon earned his ninth save and made a winner of Josh Beckett (4-1, 1.69 ERA), who lasted 6.2 innings before handing the game over to the bullpen.
In the bottom of the third Shin-Soo Choo was caught stealing to end the frame; in the home half of the fourth Buck was caught stealing to empty the bases with two outs; and in the fifth, Carrera flied out into a double play when LaPorta was cut down trying to take second.
The Indians’ generosity on the base-paths were no doubt appreciated by the Red Sox.
Carmona went eight innings and allowed four runs — all earned — on only five hits, Carmona came out after the leadoff man got aboard in the ninth and Rafael Perez kept Boston from any further damage, but it was a little too late.
Tomorrow at 12:05 Mitch Talbot (1-0) will make his first start back from the Disabled List against the Red Sox’ Jon Lester (6-1).