CLEVELAND (AP) The Boston Red Sox found a way to get the best of Corey Kluber.
Mitch Moreland hit a fifth-inning home run, Drew Pomeranz and three relievers outdueled Cleveland’s ace, and the Red Sox defeated the Indians 6-1 on Wednesday night.
Boston manager John Farrell admitted his team had little margin for error.
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”One run against Kluber felt like an accomplishment,” he said. ”We had good at-bats all night long against one of the best pitchers in baseball. Thankfully, we created some separation later in the game.”
Moreland homered to right on a 1-0 pitch from Kluber (12-4), who allowed two runs over 7 2/3 innings.
Mookie Betts’ RBI single with two outs in the eighth ended the night for Cleveland’s ace, who allowed four hits and struck out 12 – the 13th time this season he’s reached double figures in strikeouts.
Four pitchers held Cleveland’s injury-depleted lineup to three hits, a night after Doug Fister pitched a one-hitter.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-out homer in the eighth off Addison Reed.
Pomeranz (13-4) gave up two hits and struck out nine in 5 1/3 innings in winning his seventh straight decision.
”Most of these games here have felt like the playoffs with the intensity,” he said. ”I was throwing it where I wanted to, and they were having a hard time hitting it.”
Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Bryan Shaw when Boston scored four times.
Jay Bruce beat out an infield hit in the second and Brandon Guyer singled in the fourth for Cleveland’s other hits.
Kluber and Pomeranz both left their starts on Friday with injuries, but completed bullpen sessions earlier in the week. Kluber was removed in the sixth inning against Kansas City because of a sprained right ankle. Pomeranz left against the New York Yankees in the fourth because of back spasms.
Neither pitcher thought the injuries were a factor.
”I wasn’t even thinking about it at all,” Kluber said. ”I was able to throw my side normally and be able to pitch today.”
”No back issues at all,” Pomeranz said. ”I felt fine.”
Kluber didn’t allow a baserunner until Nunez’s infield hit to lead off the fourth. The right-hander struck out the next three hitters and got the first two outs in the fifth before Moreland hit his 15th home run.
Kluber struck out the first two hitters in the eighth and has 208 this season, the fourth straight year he’s reached the 200 mark.
Brock Holt drew a two-out walk in the eighth and Nunez was hit by a pitch. Betts singled past third baseman Giovanny Urshela for a 2-0 lead.
”To get two quick outs and then walk a guy, hit a guy and give up a hit, it’s not ideal,” Kluber said.
The Indians placed second baseman Jason Kipnis on the 10-day disabled list for the second time since early July while first baseman Carlos Santana missed his second straight game with back tightness.
Outfielders Michael Brantley (sprained right ankle) and Lonnie Chisenhall (strained right calf) are also out.
”Sometimes you don’t have everybody,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”That doesn’t mean you can’t win. It can be little more challenging. Rather than back down, just keep fighting.”
Boston acquired OF Rajai Davis from Oakland during the game. Davis and RHP Blaine Boyer, who has been on the DL with a stiff neck, were added to the roster. INF Deven Marrero and RHP Hector Velazquez were optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Jose Ramirez, one of Cleveland’s most consistent hitters, is in an 0-for-17 slump after going hitless in three at-bats and drawing a walk in the first. His average has dropped to .298.
Red Sox: OF Jackie Bradley Jr. was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb.
Indians: Santana might return to the lineup Thursday. He was removed in the eighth inning Monday.
Red Sox LHP Chris Sale allowed seven runs over five innings in an Aug. 1 no-decision against Cleveland. Indians RHP Trevor Bauer is 1-2 with an 8.79 ERA in five career outings against Boston.