Lowrie hits slam as Sox head to playoffs with win
J.D. Drew homered twice, and Jed Lowrie hit his first career grand slam on Sunday and the Boston Red Sox headed into the playoffs with a 12-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Lowrie's homer made it 12-6 in the sixth inning, but it cost David Ortiz his best chance at reaching 100 RBIs for the sixth time in seven years. Ortiz, who was batting .185 with one homer and 18 RBIs on June 1, finished with 28 homers and 99 RBIs for the season.
The loss was the last in Cleveland for manager Eric Wedge, who was fired on Wednesday with six games left in the season. The Indians went 1-5 to finish out his tenure, finishing with a club-record 15 consecutive road losses.
Dustin Pedroia and Alex Gonzalez also homered for Boston, which will begin the playoffs in Anaheim, Calif., against the Angels on either Wednesday or Thursday. Michael Bowden (1-1) pitched 2 2-3 innings in relief for the win, allowing one run and three hits and striking out two.
Tomo Ohka (1-5) gave up seven runs and six hits and two walks, striking out four for the Indians.
Clay Buchholz was coming off a career-high five homers allowed in his previous start, and this one started out much in the same way. Luis Valbuena hit the third pitch over the Green Monster, and the Indians added five more in the third to make it 6-4 on a bases-loaded walk, a two-run single by Jhonny Peralta and Andy Marte's two-run double.
But Boston made it 6-5 in the fourth on Drew's solo homer, then took the lead in the fifth on Pedroia's two-run shot. Drew led off the sixth with another homer, then Boston loaded the bases with two outs and Lowrie hit his second homer of the year into the Red Sox bullpen.
Ortiz, who was on deck at the time, slammed the doughnut off his bat and walked to the plate to congratulate Lowrie. Then he struck out to end the inning. He struck out on a check swing with runners on first and second to end the eighth.
Buchholz, who is contending for a third or fourth spot in the playoff rotation, gave up six runs and five hits and two walks.
NOTES: It was Drew's 15th career multihomer game, and his third of the season. ... Matt LaPorta left the game in the seventh with a left big toe sprain. ... C Jason Varitek was removed mid-inning for a defensive replacement, allowing the crowd to give the Red Sox captain a standing ovation. ... Gonzalez was back in the lineup after getting hit by a pitch on the hand Friday and sitting out Saturday's game. ... The Red Sox set a franchise attendance record of 3,062,699. ... The Red Sox reached 95 wins for the fifth time in six years.