Boston at Cleveland

W: C. Lee (2-1) L: T. Wakefield (1-4)
HR: BOS - W. Pena (2)   CLE - J. Peralta (3)

Tough night for Bard; Lee, Peralta help Indians snap three-game skid

CBS wire reports

CLEVELAND -- Josh Bard could have used a fishing net or a spear, maybe even a shotgun. Anything to help in his hunt for Tim Wakefield's levitating knuckleballs would have been helpful.

Bard had trouble catching pitches, and the Boston Red Sox couldn't catch the Cleveland Indians, either.

Cliff Lee gave Cleveland's banged-up bullpen some needed rest, Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run homer and the Indians scored two unearned runs on passed balls by Bard in a 7-1 win over the Red Sox on Wednesday night.

"I missed them, it's that simple," said Bard, who had four passed balls and has been charged with 10 in his first season catching Wakefield. "I don't know what else to say. I just didn't catch them."

Lee (2-1) allowed one run and four hits in six innings, helping the Indians end a three-game losing streak and win for just the fifth time in 14 games.

The left-hander's quality start was only the second in eight games for Cleveland's staff, which has three relievers on the disabled list and is still waiting for ace C.C. Sabathia to get back from the DL.

"It's a big win," Lee said. "They've got a good lineup. To hold them to one run in six innings is pretty good."

Lee was aided by two double plays and he worked out of trouble in the third and sixth innings. Jason Davis pitched two scoreless innings and Bob Wickman finished up the combined five-hitter.

Wily Mo Pena homered for Boston, which lost for the first time in seven games at Jacobs Field.

The Indians took a 3-0 lead in the first on Peralta's homer off Wakefield (1-4), and they were also helped by Bard, who spent the night digging Wakefield's pitches out of the dirt or chasing them back to the screen.

Wakefield's dancing, dipping and dangling knuckleball has been giving Bard fits all year. In just six games, he already has more passed balls than he had in his previous 156 games over four major league seasons.

"I told Josh to keep his head up," said Wakefield, who gave up three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. "I know those balls he missed came back to haunt us. I'm not disappointed in him at all.

"He's not the reason we're losing -- I am," said Wakefield, who grew tiresome of the line of questioning. "So get off him."

With that, Wakefield ended the interview.

Cleveland also took advantage of Wakefield's soft tosses, stealing three bases to match their season total through 20 games.

Lee pitched in and out of trouble in the third, when he gave up his first hit -- a soft single to Bard -- and walked two to load the bases with two outs. He quickly went 0-2 on David Ortiz before just missing twice on the outside corner. Lee then struck out Boston's big slugger, fooling Ortiz with an inside fastball.

"I missed with my location on that one," said Lee, who was trying to nip the corner again. "I got lucky there."

Lee wasn't so fortunate an inning later as Pena drove his second homer over the wall in right-center.

But the Indians scored in the bottom of the inning when Bard had two passed balls, the second allowing Victor Martinez to score from third.

Boston manager Terry Francona remains supportive of Bard, who was traded to the Red Sox from Cleveland in January.

"It's not fun to sit through," Francona said. "I know it's not fun for Bard. But he's working as hard as he can. I don't want him to beat himself up."

Bard's fourth passed ball set up Cleveland's fifth run. Martinez singled to open the sixth, moved up when Bard fanned on an inside pitch and Aaron Boone hit a two-out RBI double to make it 5-1.

Boone and Casey Blake added run-scoring singles in the eighth.

Peralta snapped an 0-for-12 slump with his three-run shot in the first off Wakefield, who threw Cleveland's shortstop a fastball.

"I got a big surprise," Peralta said, "and I hit it good."


  • Jason Larocque, Boston's bullpen catcher, was released from a hospital after being struck in the back of the head with a home run hit during batting practice. A team spokesman said Larocque had a stiff neck but was otherwise fine.
  • Eleven years later, a glass pyramid trophy awarded to former Indians pitcher Orel Hershiser for winning the 1995 ALCS MVP was finally returned to the right-hander. Hershiser had forgotten about it after allowing the team to display the award in its gift shop. Hershiser did color commentary for the game on television.
  • Wickman remains one save shy of tying Doug Jones' club career mark of 129.
  • Despite the loss, the Red Sox are 11-5 at the Jake since 2002.
  • Sabathia planned to make a rehab start Thursday at Triple-A Buffalo. He has been sidelined since straining an oblique muscle on opening day. Without a setback, he will start next week against Chicago or Oakland.
  • The Indians stole three bases in a game three times last season.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Jhonny Peralta is greeted by Jason Michaels after knocking a first-inning, three-run homer.  (AP)
Jhonny Peralta is greeted by Jason Michaels after knocking a first-inning, three-run homer. (AP)

Players of the Game

J. Peralta
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1

C. Lee
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 4
K 7

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2017 AL East Preview: Boston Red Sox (2:46)
Boston Red Sox
Kevin Youkilis, 1B4000010 .315
Mark Loretta, 2B3010100 .239
David Ortiz, DH3000124 .288
Manny Ramirez, LF3010101 .301
Mike Lowell, 3B4000003 .288
Wily Mo Pena, RF-CF4111022 .258
Dustan Mohr, CF2000020 .179
   a- Trot Nixon, PH-RF2010000 .340
Josh Bard, C3010101 .294
Alex Gonzalez, SS2000101 .200
a-flied out for Mohr in the 7th
2B - Trot Nixon (4, Wickman)
HR - Wily Mo Pena (2, Lee)
RBI - Wily Mo Pena (3)
2-OUT RBI - Wily Mo Pena (1)
Team LOB - 7
PB - Josh Bard 4 (10)
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (L,1-4) 5.2553431 3.90
Julian Tavarez 1.1000020 4.26
Manny Delcarmen 1422000 18.00
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 116-67, Julian Tavarez 21-12, Manny Delcarmen 27-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 6-8, Manny Delcarmen 1-2
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 26, Julian Tavarez 4, Manny Delcarmen 7
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF4100113 .309
Jason Michaels, LF3110100 .244
Jhonny Peralta, SS4113001 .227
Travis Hafner, DH4000001 .329
Victor Martinez, C3320100 .383
Eduardo Perez, 1B3000012 .323
    Ben Broussard, 1B1000001 .370
Ron Belliard, 2B3120101 .280
Aaron Boone, 3B4022022 .268
Casey Blake, RF4011013 .362
2B - Aaron Boone (6, Wakefield)
HR - Jhonny Peralta (3, Wakefield)
RBI - Jhonny Peralta 3 (14), Aaron Boone 2 (13), Casey Blake (15)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Boone 2 (7), Casey Blake (11)
SB - Grady Sizemore (2, 2nd base off Wakefield/Bard), Jason Michaels (2, 2nd base off Wakefield/Bard), Ron Belliard (1, 2nd base off Wakefield/Bard)
Team LOB - 6
DP - Peralta-Belliard-Perez, Peralta-Belliard-Perez
Cleveland Indians
Cliff Lee (W,2-1) 6411471 2.97
Jason Davis 2000100 3.09
Bob Wickman 1100000 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 110-68, Jason Davis 24-15, Bob Wickman 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 5-4, Jason Davis 5-1, Bob Wickman 2-1
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 24, Jason Davis 7, Bob Wickman 4
Game Information
Attendance - 21575
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Adam Dowdy, First Base - Gary Darling, Second Base - Larry Poncino, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman