Indians spook Red Sox, win fourth straight
CLEVELAND -- It was cold and windy, with the kind of eerie fog that made Progressive Field look more like a graveyard than a baseball stadium.
“It was Dracula-type weather,” said Indians manager Manny Acta.
Acta was speaking after the Indians’ 1-0 victory over Boston on Thursday, a three-game series sweep of a team everyone figured would dominate from the start.
Instead, the Red Sox are 0-6 for the first time since 1945. Instead, it’s the Red Sox who are leaving Cleveland with what must be the creepy feeling of spending the past three days in a haunted house of baseball horrors.
And instead, it’s the Indians who have won four straight and are heading to the West Coast with a fair amount of confidence.
“Hey, that’s the type of team we are,” said Indians second baseman Orlando Cabrera. “We do the unexpected.”
Granted, it’s much too early to get too excited, or for the Red Sox, to feel overly panicked. This is baseball, and lots of weird stuff happens in April.
But when you consider the Indians gave up 23 runs in their first two games (both losses), and have surrendered just six in the four games since … hey, things could be worse.
“I’m glad we’re done with them for now,” Acta said of the Red Sox. “Because you know they are gonna go off at some point.”
You have to assume that Acta knows what he’s talking about -- especially when you consider Boston’s extensive (and expensive) lineup featuring the likes of Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkillis and David Ortiz, just to name a few.
Yet somehow, Indians starter Fausto Carmona managed to tame those big and nasty bats, striking out four and allowing two hits through seven innings. That’s quite a contrast to opening day, when Carmona gave up 10 runs in four innings.
He struggled with that performance for a few days, and as is always the case, patiently waited for his next opportunity. It finally came, against perhaps the most horrifying and angry row of hitters in the American League.
“Today is a new day,” Carmona said with a smile and a shrug. “You have to forget about that last outing.”
Carmona wasn’t imposing -- just efficient. And his performance defined an entire day for the Indians as a team.
There was nothing overly fancy. Just good, solid, fundamentally sound baseball.
How else do you describe a game in which the only run was scored on a squeeze play in the bottom of the eight inning?
That happened with Adam Everett on third base and Asdrubal Cabrera at the plate. Cabrera tapped a perfectly placed bunt down the third-base line, and Everett came home. Honestly, it couldn’t have worked out any better.
And it really was no big deal for Cabrera, who doesn’t always have to just swing away.
“No, not for me,” he said. “That’s my game.”
On the other hand, Everett was feeling considerably less confident.
“It was funny, because I didn’t know if (Cabrera) saw the sign (to bunt),” Everett said, laughing. “By the time the sign was over, he was looking down.”
Everett later accurately described the play by saying, “It was just great execution.”
Everett, Shelly Duncan and Matt LaPorta each had a hit for the Indians, with Duncan knocking a double. Everett also had a stolen base.
The Indians now leave for Seattle for a three-game series against the Mariners beginning Friday. That will be followed with a three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels.
"This gives us great momentum,” Orlando Cabrera said. “Hopefully, we can carry it with us on the road.”