BOSTON — Boston returned home to Fenway Park and left its hitting slump on the road.
The Red Sox scored a season-high in runs in a 10-3 victory over Cleveland on Friday night, one day after beating the Indians 5-2.
Not bad for a team that had totaled just one run at Baltimore in the last three games of its road trip.
“The thing that stands out is we answered every time they scored,” Boston Manager John Farrell said. “That’s two nights in a row now and that’s very encouraging.”
A.J. Pierzynski, Mike Napoli and Dustin Pedroia hit two-run doubles, Xander Bogaerts hit a solo homer and John Lackey (8-4) allowed three runs or less for the ninth time in his last 10 starts.
“Tonight was more about the offense more than anything,” Lackey said. “The guys really swung the bats great, made a couple of great defensive plays for me, just a good team win.”
The Red Sox (31-36) entered the game with the fourth-lowest batting average in the AL and have been on a roller coaster ride, losing 10 straight, winning seven in a row and then losing five consecutive games before winning four of their last six.
“We’ve been able to ride some of the peaks and valleys here,” Farrell said, “but there’s a number of guys that are relaxed in the (batter’s) box right now.”
Cleveland is on its own streak, losing four straight.
Justin Masterson (4-5) had his shortest stint of the season – two innings plus two walks in the third – 11 days after he had a season-high 10 strikeouts in seven innings against Boston and beat Lackey 3-2. He walked the first two batters in the second.
“I walked two guys on like eight pitches,” Masterson said. “It’s 3-3 at the time and it’s still a ball game. (Manager Terry Francona) doesn’t see any positive adjustment coming out of me. Why wouldn’t he take me out?”
With a light rain falling, Lackey struggled early when he allowed three runs and six hits in three innings.
“I heard some places have summer,” Lackey joked. “That’s the rumor.”
But he gave up just one hit in his next 32/3 scoreless innings before being replaced by Andrew Miller.
The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the second on Carlos Santana’s eighth homer after a single by David Murphy.
“He’s starting to take some more aggressive swings and stay in the middle of the field,” Francona said of Santana, who began the night hitting .175. “If he gets hot, that will be great for us.”
The Red Sox went ahead with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Masterson walked David Ortiz and Napoli. Daniel Nava singled, but Ortiz was thrown out trying to score by center fielder Michael Bourn. Pierzynski then doubled in two runs and Jackie Bradley Jr. singled in another.
Cleveland tied it in the top of the third on consecutive doubles by Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley.
But Masterson again walked the first two batters, Bogaerts and Pedroia, in the third and was replaced by Kyle Crockett. Napoli doubled both runners in, putting Boston on top 5-3.
After Brantley’s RBI double, Lackey retired 14 of the next 16 batters, allowing runners only on a walk and an error. Cabrera doubled with two outs in the seventh, ending Lackey’s night. Miller ended the threat by retiring Brantley on a groundout.
Boston tagged three relievers for four runs in the seventh. Bradley led off with a single, Brock Holt singled and both scored on Pedroia’s double. Ortiz was walked intentionally and Pedroia scored when Napoli singled to right and Murphy let the ball get away from him for an error. Nava then doubled in Ortiz, making it 9-3.
NOTES: Boston RHP Clay Buchholz’s rehab outing at Triple-A Pawtucket was postponed by rain. Buchholz, on the 15-day DL with a hyperextended right knee, was scheduled to pitch five innings. … The Indians recalled LHP Crockett from Columbus and optioned LHP Nick Hagadone to that Triple-A team. … Cleveland 3B Lonnie Chisenhall’s hitting streak ended at nine games. … In Saturday’s third game of the four-game series, T.J. House (0-1) pitches for Cleveland against Jake Peavy (1-4).