On Monday night, the Indians had their answer.
Kevin Millwood pitched six innings of three-hit ball, and Travis Hafner had three extra-base hits to give Cleveland a 7-0 victory and snap Boston's seven-game winning streak. It was the second shutout in three home games for the Red Sox after 116 games at Fenway without one.
"Everyone in here knows they swept us when we were playing some of our best ball," said center fielder Grady Sizemore, who hit a two-run homer. "We wanted to come in here and repay the favor."
The Red Sox swept the Indians last week and Millwood (3-5) was one reason why. He allowed five earned runs in six innings last Tuesday, a day after Boston ended Cleveland's nine-game winning streak.
But with the Red Sox coming into the game with 12 wins in 13 tries, Millwood walked two and struck out six. Bobby Howry pitched two perfect innings and Scott Sauerbeck one to complete the three-hit shutout.
"Those guys pretty much shut us down the last time they faced us," Millwood said. "You go out there thinking you have hardly any room for error. Any time you face that lineup, you really can't take a breather."
The Red Sox went 6-0 on a trip to Cleveland and Philadelphia before returning to the ballpark where, before Monday's loss, their 22-10 home record was the best in the AL. But Bronson Arroyo (6-4) gave up seven runs -- five earned -- on six hits and three walks and a hit batter, striking out four in 6 2/3 innings.
Hafner hit the first of his two doubles in the fourth as Cleveland scored three times, thanks in part to Mark Bellhorn's error on a possible double play. Hafner added a solo homer in the seventh, one out after Sizemore's two-run shot bounced off Trot Nixon's glove and over the wall.
"When stuff like that happens to Trot, I don't go ask him. He'll wring somebody's neck," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "It was just one of those freak plays. I'm sure once the anger wears off, some of the guys will get on him. But probably not tonight."
Arroyo walked the bases loaded after Hafner doubled in the fourth, then Ronnie Belliard hit a sharp grounder to third base. But Bill Mueller's throw to Bellhorn went off the second baseman's glove and Hafner scored when it trickled into center field.
Ben Broussard advanced to third on the error and scored on a groundout to first to make it 3-0. Arroyo hit Red Sox nemesis Aaron Boone on the hand before getting Jhonny Peralta to pop up to the shortstop and end the inning.
Cleveland added another run in the fifth when Coco Crisp singled and scored on Hafner's double. In the seventh, Arroyo walked Peralta with one out and then Sizemore hit a long fly off the tip of Nixon's glove and over the short wall of the Indians' bullpen. Nixon slammed his glove against the fence in frustration.
One out later, Hafner hit one 15 rows back in the right-field stands. And that was it for Arroyo.
Millwood coasted, allowing just one base runner to reach third when Johnny Damon hit a broken-bat single to lead off the first, stole second and took third on a fly ball. Boston had three stolen bases -- its most since last July 11 -- but couldn't muster any offense.
Boone played in Boston for the first time since his homer off Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the 2003 AL Championship Series. His 11th-inning shot sent the New York Yankees to the World Series after they rallied from a three-run deficit with five outs to go when Boston manager Grady Little left a tiring Pedro Martinez in the game.
Boone was booed loudly at his first at-bat, when Arroyo dispatched him in three pitches. He did get a cheer later, but only because Arroyo plunked him with a pitch on the hand.
"I know where I am," Boone said. "A lot has happened since then. They're world champs."
- Red Sox prospect Hanley Ramirez, a shortstop at Double-A Portland, visited the clubhouse before the game.
- LHP David Wells reported no problems, a day after he tweaked his right arch running the bases.
- Damon's single in the first extended his hitting streak to 14 games. He is the first player in the AL to 100 hits.
- Sizemore was 2-for-5 and is hitting .432 in his last 22 games.