CLEVELAND – Carl Crawford finally had the kind of game the Boston Red Sox and their fans have been awaiting.

And it took him just six innings to do it.

Crawford, who struggled badly in his first two months with Boston, went 4 for 4 with two doubles, three runs and two RBI before being pulled, and the Red Sox got to Mitch Talbot for seven runs in the first inning Wednesday in a 14-2 rout of the Cleveland Indians.

“I definitely feel better than I did before,” said Crawford, who signed a seven-year, $142 million free-agent contract in December but hasn’t played up to it. “It feels nice to contribute to a game where everyone contributes.”

Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run homer in Boston’s first off Talbot (1-1), who came off the disabled list to make his first start since April 11.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a three-run homer, David Ortiz added an estimated 431-foot solo shot that looked even farther and the Red Sox got a season-high 20 hits in the series finale to win 2 of 3 from the Indians, who have baseball’s best record.


Boston has won 10 of 12.

“It’s good,” said starter Jon Lester, who coasted to his seventh win. “We had three good starts and they beat us on the first night in the eighth inning. Obviously it’s good for us to come in here and do this, and keep moving and playing well.”

Especially for Crawford, who had not gotten more than two hits in a game for Boston.

Because of his slow start, he was dropped to No. 8 in the loaded lineup by Manager Terry Francona. But Crawford went 6 of 11 with six runs, two doubles and three RBI in the series.

“There will be a time when he’s definitely going to carry us and we’re counting on him,” Pedroia said. “I tell Carl all the time, ‘I go through something like this every year.’ I just told him, ‘I’m on like level four right now and we’ve got to go to level 10. Six more stops.’ “

Lester (7-1) allowed three hits in six shutout innings and won his seventh straight decision.

“It’s tough sometimes to pitch with those leads, but you just have to focus on taking it one inning, one pitch at a time,” Lester said.

Lester gave up a pair of singles in the first before retiring 15 straight. Asdrubal Cabrera finally got to him for a two-out double in the sixth. But after walking Shin-Soo Choo, Lester retired Shelley Duncan on an easy tapper to end the Indians’ only scoring chance against him.

“It was an uphill battle from the get-go,” Indians Manager Manny Acta said. “It’s not a very good feeling before you get to the plate and you’re trailing 7-0 against Jon Lester. I don’t think even the ’27 Yankees would have a good feeling trailing 7-0 against this guy.”

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