BOSTON (AP) — Jason Kipnis delivered three singles for the Cleveland Indians, and then he helped them out with his glove.
The Indians second baseman snagged a hard-hit grounder from Red Sox slugger David Ortiz to start an eighth-inning double play. Instead of facing a late Boston rally, the Indians held on for a 3-2 victory on Saturday that snapped a four-game losing streak.
“He hit it pretty hard,” Kipnis said. “You guys know as well as I do: You’ve got some time with him going down the line. All he has to do is jog, with most of his hits.”
Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley each had a pair of hits for Cleveland, which had lost eight of its past nine games at Fenway Park. The Indians scored two runs in the seventh to take the lead on an error by catcher A.J. Pierzynski and a bases-loaded walk.
“We’re going to have to win some games like that,” said Cleveland manager Terry Francona, whose team stranded 13 base runners and went 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.
John Axford (2-3) earned the win with one scoreless inning in relief of T.J. House, and Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his seventh save.
Craig Breslow (2-2) took the loss, allowing two unearned runs and two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Boston starter Jake Peavy left with a 2-1 lead but remains winless in his past nine starts.
“You just try to do what you can do to win,” said Peavy, who entered the game with the second-lowest run support in the AL. “Obviously, it’s been tough to score on my day, that’s something I’m not going to shy away from. I’m not blaming anyone. I have to be better. Guys have to find a way to be better on my day to win. It’s frustrating, no doubt. At the end of the day it’s frustrating to lose.”
The Red Sox led 2-1 when Breslow relieved Peavy to start the seventh. Cabrera hit a grounder behind second base that shortstop Jonathan Herrera grabbed with a diving stop, but his throw to first short-hopped Mike Napoli and popped off the heel of his glove.
Michael Brantley singled to right, then second baseman Dustin Pedroia tried to come home on Kipnis’ grounder but Pierzynski couldn’t come up with the ball. Home plate umpire Sean Barber initially signaled out, but changed the call when he saw the ball rolling in the dirt.
“You can’t second-guess that,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “That’s a good, aggressive defensive play. Then unfortunately we started to nitpick a little bit on the outside of the strike zone.”
Two outs later, David Murphy walked to load the bases and, after Junichi Tazawa relieved Breslow, Carlos Santana walked in the go-ahead run to make it 3-2.
Jonny Gomes and Brock Holt had two hits apiece for the Red Sox, who scored a season-high 10 runs on Friday night. Boston had won seven in a row at home.
Ortiz doubled in a run in the first inning for Boston. It was his 422nd career double in a Red Sox uniform, tying Wade Boggs for fourth on the team’s all-time list.
NOTES: Peavy is 0-4 with a 5.46 ERA in his past nine starts. … Red Sox SS Stephen Drew missed his sixth straight game with a right side muscle injury. Farrell said he will be available on Sunday. … RHP Clay Buchholz (right knee) OF Shane Victorino (right hamstring) and 3B Will Middlebrooks (right index finger) all made rehab appearances for Triple-A Pawtucket. … Francona, who led the Red Sox to the 2004 and ’07 World Series titles, got a big cheer when he came out to check on Michael Bourn after his third-inning single.