Baseball is an odd game sometimes. Or maybe an odd ballpark just makes it seem that way.
After struggling throughout their just-finished eight-game homestand on offense, all it took for the Indians to break out was a trip to quirky Fenway Park to get things together — at least for one night.
Asdrubal Cabrera belted two two-run homers, Travis Hafner and Jason Kipnis went deep, and the Indians parlayed a three-run eighth inning into a come-from-behind 9-6 victory over the Red Sox.
Oh but this was a big win for The Good Guys, and drew them to within two games of idle Detroit.
Josh Tomlin and John Lackey started tonight, and each had difficulty. Tomlin went six innings and gave up five runs, while Lackey gave up five in 6.2 frames.
But it was the Tribe bullpen which ultimately proved to be the deciding factor. allowing only one run while Boston's surrendered four.
After falling behind 3-1 after three and creeping back to within 3-2 in the fourth, Cleveland got back-to-back jacks in the sixth from Cabrera and Hafner’s 10th homer to go up 5-3, only to see Boston come right back and tie things on a two-run blast from Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
It stayed that way until the eighth, when the Indians touched tough Boston righty Daniel Bard for the decisive three-run rally.
Kipnis led off the eighth with a single, and scored on what was first ruled a single by Cabrera, but on review was ruled a home run on a liner right down the line in right— Cabrera’s 19th long ball — putting Cleveland up 7-5. With one out Carlos Santana worked an 11-pitch walk, ending Bard’s night, and after Kosuke Fukudome singled off of Randy Williams, Matt LaPorta doubled off the Green Monster, putting the Tribe up by three.
Williams was able to strand runners at second and third when he retired Lonnie Chisenhall and Ezequiel Carrera, but the damage had been done.
Vinnie Pestano came on in the eighth in relief of winner Rafael Perez (4-1) and worked a one-two-three frame, fanning two.
Then in the ninth, Kipnis blasted his second homer in two days, and the Tribe led 9-5.
Chris Perez came on for the Tribe in a non-save situation in the ninth, and got a big first out with a swinging strike out of Saltalamacchia on a full-count.
Perez then fanned Josh Reddick before Mike Aviles singled to keep things alive before Jacoby Ellsbury dropped a ground-rule double down the left-field line to score Aviles (who had advanced to second on defensive indifference) and make it 9-6 Indians.
Perez finally ended things by getting Dustin Pedroia to ground out to third.
So the Indians take the first game of this big four-game series, and will now call on David Huff tomorrow night to try and keep things going in a positive direction.