Given Motley Crue’s recent retirement announcement, it was good to be “home sweet home” as the Boston Red Sox rode the left arm of Jon Lester and supplied consistent hitting in a 5-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians on a cool spring night at Fenway Park.
With the win, Boston improves to 16-17 at home and moves to within six games of .500 overall.
For the first time in what seems like forever, the BoSox produced a balanced attack in dispatching Terry Francona’s club. David Ortiz thwacked a two-run homer to center in the fifth inning, while the light appears to be coming on for Daniel Nava, who had three hits and has almost pierced the Mendoza Line after a forgettable start to the year. Leadoff hitter Brock Holt, recently rehabbed Mike Napoli and light-hitting utility man Jonathan Herrera had two hits apiece.
All the while, Lester (7-7) limited Cleveland to quiet innings. The only exception was the sixth, when Michael Bourn reached on an error, was pushed to third on a Michael Brantley double, and both scored on a Jason Kipnis single. Lester promptly cleaned up the mess to preserve a 3-2 lead. The lefty’s line: 7 2/3 innings, eight hits, two runs (one earned) with a walk and four strikeouts.
Holt had a two-run double off former Sox farmhand Nick Hagadone in the bottom off the frame that put the nail in the coffin of Josh Tomlin (4-3), who didn’t exactly draw comparisons to Greg Maddux as he gave up nine hits and walked two in 5 2/3 innings.
Bradley had the web gem of the evening in a week of impressive feats of outfield arm strength (see Yoenis Cespedes vs. the Angels), doubling former Sox infielder Mike Aviles off first base on a heave from the base of the center field wall.
Koji Uehara pitched a clean ninth for his 14th save.