Indians slide continues with 12-1 loss in Boston
BOSTON (AP) Cleveland pitcher Justin Masterson's sinker wouldn't sink or go where he wanted it to.
Masterson's control problems led to a quick 4-0 deficit and his teammates continued to struggle at the plate in a 12-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
"You never want to put your boys in that type of hole," Masterson said after allowing six runs on seven hits over six innings.
Masterson also hit three batters as the Indians lost their third straight and for the fifth time in six games.
Cleveland scored one run for the second straight game and fell to 1-3 on a six-game road trip that started with an 8-3 win at Boston on Thursday night.
"The last couple of days, it hasn't been very good," manager Manny Acta said. "We haven't been able to execute and pick up some of those cheap RBIs. That's the way our offense works. We can't afford that."
Not the way Boson was hitting Sunday.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered during a six-run seventh inning and drove in five runs and rookie Will Middlebrooks hit his fourth homer for the Red Sox, who have rebounded from a 1-8 skid with three straight wins.
Daniel Bard (3-4) survived some early control problems and held the Indians to one run despite walking four and allowing six hits over six innings.
Masterson (1-2) also had control issues, falling behind 4-0 while facing all nine Boston batters in the first inning. He lasted six innings, allowed six runs on seven hits and hit three batters.
"He struggled with his command, especially against left-handed hitters," Acta said. "When he does that he gets in trouble."
Daniel Nava was 2-for-2 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Adrian Gonzalez doubled twice and Saltalamacchia finished 3-for-4 as the Red Sox had 12 hits against the Indians, who lost their third straight and for the fifth time in six games.
The Red Sox held Cleveland to one run for the second straight game and needed just 2 1-2 hours to dispatch the Indians, the same amount of time it took in a 4-1 win Saturday night.
Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 14 with leadoff double in the seventh, starting a six-run rally that extended the lead to 12-1. David Ortiz drove in Pedroia with a single, Gonzalez followed with his second double of the game and Middlebrooks walked on a wild pitch that allowed Ortiz to score from third. Nava drove in two with a double before Dan Wheeler finally got the first out of the inning when Cody Ross grounded out to second.
Wheeler wasn't out of trouble yet. The next batter was Saltalamacchia, who drove a 1-1 pitch into the black batter's eye in straightaway center.
Masterson needed just four pitches to get out the first two batters, then started having control problems that led to a 4-0 lead for the Red Sox before the inning was over. Ortiz walked with two outs, Adrian Gonzalez doubled, Will Middlebrooks hit an RBI single and Daniel Nava hit another double.
Middlebrooks hit a line-drive homer to left, just clearing the top of the Green Monster to put the Red Sox up 5-1. It was the fourth homer of the season for Middlebrooks, who was playing in just his 10th game since being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket.
NOTES: Cleveland is 1-3 on a six-game road trip, which winds up in Minnesota on Monday and Tuesday. ... The Red Sox have two more games in their current homestand, starting Monday against Seattle. ... Cleveland LF Johnny Damon got applause before the top of the third and tipped his helmet in appreciation to the fans who have routinely booed him since he left Boston after the 2005 season and signed as a free agent with the rival New York Yankees.
Updated May 13, 2012