CLEVELAND, OH – Prime Cy Young candidate Rick Porcello had a rough outing for the Red Sox in Game 1. He gave up three solo home runs and could not get out of the fifth inning. The Sox starter struggled with location for much of the night, and Cleveland clobbered his mistakes. The Boston offense tried to keep pace, with three solo shots of their own. Andrew Benintendi, Sandy Leon, and Brock Holt all went deep. Hanley Ramirez had a pair of doubles and David Ortiz added one late too. Unfortunately, it was the strikeouts, 14 of them, that ultimately killed the comeback chances for the Red Sox.
Here’s how it all happened:
SOX STRIKE FIRST
Dustin Pedroia ripped a double off Indians starter Trevor Bauer to begin the game. Hitting out of the two spot, Holt followed with a single to send Pedroia to third.
It had the makings of a big inning, but Mookie Betts whiffed after missing three straight fastballs for the first out. Ortiz could not get the job done either as he fouled out.
With two down, Hanley swung at Bauer’s first pitch and smacked a clutch double to the gap in left-center. Pedroia trotted home, and Holt also tried to score from first base. He was initially ruled safe on a close play at the plate, but after Cleveland challenged the call, Holt was ruled out. Nonetheless, the Sox had a 1-0 lead.
Rookie Andrew Benintendi delivered Boston’s second run by launching a solo homer to lead off the third inning. At 22 years and 92 days, he became the youngest Red Sox player ever to homer in a postseason game. Reggie Smith held the previous mark.
CLEVELAND’S HOME RUN DERBY
In the bottom of the first, Porcello hit Carlos Santana on the foot with his second pitch of the game.
The Sox starter immediately composed himself and proceeded to strike out the next three batters he faced. Jason Kipnis, Francisco Lindor, and old friend Mike Napoli went down on a total of 11 pitches, with 10 of them strikes.
The sharpness Porcello showed in the first quickly evaporated.
Jose Ramirez cracked a leadoff double in the home half of the second frame. Lonnie Chisenhall followed with a base hit to center that sent Ramirez home to tie the game.
Bradley Jr. looked to have a shot at the plate, but his throw was off line. Sox catcher Sandy Leon did not even bother reaching for a tag and threw to second base instead. Chisenhall slid in just before the tag by Bogaerts and was ruled safe.
Boston manager John Farrell quickly challenged the call and it was overturned. Chisenhall had lost contact with the bag as he slid over it. After all that, the Indians tied the game and there was one out.
Porcello buckled down to retire the next two batters.
In the third, everything went wrong for Boston.
Roberto Perez tied the game with an opposite field leadoff solo shot.
With one out, Kipnis launched a bomb of his own to put Cleveland on top 3-2. Lindor followed with a towering homer to extend the Indians advantage to 4-2.
The three home runs in the inning matched the total number of long balls Porcello had given up over his last seven starts.
LEON GOES DEEP
Boston got one back in the top of the fifth as Leon launched a solo homer to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Bauer retired the next two batters, and then Cleveland manager Terry Francona pulled him. Andrew Miller, also a former member of the Red Sox, came on to face Holt.
The Sox third baseman ripped a double to right-center, and Betts worked a full-count walk.
Ortiz came up in a golden opportunity, but struck out and stranded the tying run at second base.
PORCELLO'S OUTING CUT SHORT
The Sox starter posted a 1-2-3 fourth frame, but ran into more trouble in the fifth.
Perez cracked a long single down the left field line to lead off.
Santana then flied out to deep left, and Perez caught Benintendi off guard by tagging to move up to second. Porcello’s outing ended there.
Drew Pomeranz entered the game and gave up a single to Kipnis that plated Perez for a 5-3 Indians lead.
Napoli then drove a fastball down the left field line that bounced off the stands for a ground-rule double. Kipnis was forced to go back to third base despite scoring on the play.
Pomeranz intentionally walked Ramirez and got a huge strikeout of Chisenhall to keep the Sox within two runs.
MILLER SILENCES SOX
Boston could not get anything going against Miller in the sixth or seventh. The tall lefty notched four strikeouts while throwing 40 pitches.
Pomeranz held his own against the Indians and struck them out 1-2-3 in the sixth. With two outs in the seventh and a man on first, Joe Kelly relieved him.
Kelly struck out Napoli to send the game to the eighth at 5-3.
RALLY FALLS SHORT
Holt lifted the sixth solo homer of the night to bring Boston back within one in the top of eighth.
Ortiz then smacked a one-out line drive to the gap for a double. Marco Hernandez pinch ran for Ortiz at second.
Hanley grounded out, but pushed Hernandez to third with two out. Bogaerts struck out chasing breaking balls to strand the tying run.
In the ninth, Benintendi notched a two-out single to extend hope for the Sox, but Pedroia struck out to end it.
Cleveland took Game 1 of the series 5-4.
Game 2 Preview: The Red Sox and Indians will play Game 2 tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 PM. David Price (17-9, 3.99 ERA) and Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA) are the scheduled starters.
-The six home runs in this game tied an ALDS record.
-Porcello pitched just 4.1 innings, his shortest outing of the year.
-Ortiz has 41 postseason extra-base hits in his career, which ranks 4th all-time
If you want MORE coverage of your team, check out Red Sox Beat Podcast here on CLNS Radio! The latest episode is below and check us out on ITUNES as well!