A strong spot start from Zach McAllister wasn’t enough for Cleveland Saturday night as Tribe hitters couldn’t touch Felix Doubront and the Indians (18-15) fell to the Red Sox (14-19), 4-1, at Fenway Park.
The teams were deadlocked in a scoreless tie until the bottom of the third. Mike Aviles got the mini-rally started with a leadoff single. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz‘ back-to-back one-out doubles scored Aviles and Pedroia. McAllister was able to strand Ortiz by striking out Adrian Gonzalez and getting Will Middlebrooks to ground out, but the damage had been done and Boston jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
Boston struck again in the bottom of the fourth. Daniel Nava got aboard with a single on McAllister’s first pitch of the inning before moving to third on Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s ground-rule double. He came home on Aviles’ sacrifice fly to give the Red Sox a 3-0 advantage.
The Indians got their only run in the sixth inning. Lou Marson led off with a double. He advanced to third on Michael Brantley‘s groundout and scored on Jason Kipnis‘ RBI single. But the Red Sox got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Cody Ross took McAllister deep for a solo home run.
The Good: Despite allowing four runs Zach McAllister looked sharp on the mound, fanning eight Boston hitters without allowing any walks. His batted-ball profile is a potential cause for concern (he induced only four groundballs in seven innings), but it was a strong follow-up to his great first start of the season. Two outings isn’t a significant sample, but he has a 2.18 FIP through 13 innings.
The Bad: When the opposing pitcher has his best stuff there isn’t much you can do, but that the Indians managed only one run on three hits was a bit underwhelming considering that Felix Doubront entered the game with a 5.29 ERA. Conspicuously absent as well was the “never say die” mentality we saw in the late innings just one game earlier.
Also, though he did well, that McAllister was pitching at Fenway instead of at McCoy Stadium (home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who the Clippers played Saturday) was a bad sign. His promotion was due to Josh Tomlin‘s placement on the DL—he’s been feeling discomfort in his right wrist. It doesn’t sound too serious, but it’s always a little nerve-wracking when a pitcher gets hurt.
The “Huh?”: As part of the team’s roster shuffling Saturday afternoon, Jose Lopez was called up from Triple-A Columbus and Jason Donald was sent down. Donald’s demotion leads to an interesting question: Who’s the backup at shortstop? Other than Asdrubal Cabrera only two players on the active roster have experience there: Jack Hannahan, who has exactly two career appearances at short in his MLB career, and Lopez, who hasn’t played there since 2004. What happens when Cabrera needs a day off?
Interesting Tidbit: Lou Marson’s double in the sixth was his first extra-base hit since September 15th, 2011, when he went 1-for-4 with a two-run double in a 7-4 loss to the Rangers.