Rookie Bieber takes shutout into 7th, Indians top Bosox 6-3
The rare times Bieber made a mistake, Allen was there to cover — no matter the distance — with a pair of catches in deep center field that helped the Indians beat the Boston Red Sox 6-3 Tuesday night.
“He does it night after night. It’s incredible,” Bieber said of Allen. “You can’t really count him out. He’s so fast and gets such good jumps and has such a good feel for playing the outfield, he’s always got a chance.”
Allen, who hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning to beat Boston on Monday, came back to double, single and drive in a run.
But he made the biggest impact in this matchup of AL division leaders with his glove.
First, Allen raced back and slammed into the padded wall to take away an extra-base hit from Xander Bogaerts leading off the fifth inning.
Then, with the Red Sox trying to rally in the seventh, Allen again came through.
The Red Sox had already scored once to make it 5-1 and had two on with no outs when Mitch Moreland hit a long drive toward the dirt triangle way bakc in center.
Allen slid to a stop as he caught the ball over his shoulder — it was a sacrifice fly and finished Bieber, but thwarted Boston’s momentum.
“That dude’s like a ballhog out there. He wants everything,” said catcher Yan Gomes, whose solo homer in the eighth also helped simmer down the Boston fans.
Bieber (7-2) took a shutout in the seventh. He went 6 1-3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.
Melky Cabrera homered for the second straight game and Yan Gomes also connected for Cleveland, which improved to 15-4 in August.
Boston, with the best record in the majors, has lost three in a row for just the second time this season.
“We’re not swinging the bat well right now,” manager Alex Cora said.
Down 5-0, Boston scored three times in the seventh. Brad Hand got his 25th save.
Gomes singled home Cabrera early, and hit a solo homer in the eighth.
Nathan Eovaldi (5-5) had been 2-0 in four starts for the Red Sox since coming over from Tampa Bay in a trade at the deadline, but took his first loss with Boston.
The Indians have won nine of 10, including the first two of the four-game series at Fenway Park.
Manager Terry Francona said it’s great to see young players like Bieber and Allen, who extended his hitting streak to 14, play so well in a big series, but it’s still the regular season.
“We just wanted to win tonight. That’s all,” Francona said.
Eovaldi went 5 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits and a walk. He struck out two.
“They were just able to string hits together,” Eovaldi said. “I need to do a better job of executing my pitches when I’m ahead in the count. I felt like they were just able to work counts and find a way to get the job done.”
Indians: DH Edwin Encarnacion, out since Aug. 12 with a right wrist contusion, could be activated from the DL Thursday for the last of the four-game series. Francona said Encarnacion is close, but the Indians won’t rush to get him back in the lineup.
“He’s doing so good that we just want to do the right thing,” Francona said.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right ankle ligament) will likely make one more rehabilitation start before returning to the club, Cora said. Rodriguez threw four scoreless innings four Double-A Portland on Monday.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-6, 3.33 ERA) pitched seven scoreless innings Friday against Baltimore while winning his 15th start of the season.
Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson (4-3, 4.00) has won three of his last four starts as makes his first career appearance against Cleveland.