It was a play ripped out of the post-breakup handbook. After a bitter ending with the Red Sox two years ago, Terry Francona was eventually able to find something new and at present something hotter. That something was the Cleveland Indians. Returning to Fenway Park as a manager for the first time, Francona brought with him the best team in the majors over the past month. His ex-team was by no means in bad shape. The Sox were sitting a half-game out of first place Thursday under the leadership of one of Francona’s close friends, John Farrell. But the Indians came away with a 12-3 win in the opener of a four-game series on a night that started windy and ended soggy. Cleveland tagged the Sox for 16 hits, allowing starter Zach McAllister to kick his feet up over his five innings. Thanks to a twice-delayed game Wednesday night, the Indians get to their hotel in Boston until 4 a.m. But if they were at all fatigued, it was hard to notice. Farrell threw three pitchers at them in the first six innings and they all got knocked around. Ryan Dempster was trying to shake off a pair of bad starts, but he ran into the wrong lineup. Dempster gave up four runs on five hits and four walks, and got the quick hook after a three-run third inning. The third frame started strong enough for Dempster. He won an eight-pitch battle with Jason Kipnis, getting him to whiff at a splitter down and away. But Dempster quickly lost his control, and the inning got away from him as well. He gave up a one-out single to Asdrubal Cabrera, issued back-to-back walks to Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana, gave up a two-run single to Mark Reynolds, walked Yan Gomes, and gave up an RBI fielder’s choice before finally striking out Drew Stubbs to keep the Indians from batting around. In his last three starts Dempster has given up 15 earned runs in 12⅔ innings, paying dearly for his 11 walks. Still, the with one swing by David Ortiz in the bottom of the inning, the Sox were back in it for a fleeting moment.
Indians rout Sox 12-3 in Tito’s return to Fenway
Boston Globe | May 24