Cleveland at Boston

Cleveland (32-19) «0000240208181
Boston (36-16)0101000204100

Byrd wins fifth decision in row, Indians topple BoSox

CBS wire reports

BOSTON -- Even the most selective team in the league couldn't coax a walk out of Paul Byrd.

Putting his pitches where he wanted, Byrd extended his walkless streak to 43 innings and threw first-pitch strikes to 25 of 27 hitters as the Cleveland Indians beat the Boston Red Sox 8-4 Wednesday night.

"I don't know that I take pride in a walk streak. I take a lot of pride in making them earn their way to first base," he said.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Boston (36-16), which has the best record in the majors. Cleveland (32-19), with the AL's second best record, overcame a 2-0 deficit after four innings and avoided being swept in the three-game series.

Byrd (6-1), who won his fifth straight decision, issued his last walk more than a month ago -- to Kenny Lofton of Texas on April 26 -- and has gone six games without throwing four balls on any at batter. The only Cleveland pitcher in the last 50 years with a longer streak than 43 innings is Dick Donovan, who went 45 1/3 in 1963. In 58 innings this year, Byrd has walked just three.

Stopping the Red Sox from walking is impressive, considering they lead the league with 221. Cleveland catcher Kelly Shoppach said Byrd's ability to throw pitches close to the plate, but not down the middle, entices opponents to swing.

"They may not get the pitches they want to hit. That's why they take them," Shoppach said. "As a pitcher and catcher, we want to attack them. We want them to swing the bat."

Shoppach was the most productive swinger with a career-high four hits, including a solo homer in the eighth. The former Boston farmhand led Cleveland's season-high 18-hit attack. Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3) allowed 12 in 5 2/3 innings.

"Not only my fastball, but, overall, I think I had problems with my control," he said.

Matsuzaka didn't walk anyone but left more pitches over the plate than Byrd.

And he didn't get his usual support. In his previous 10 starts, the Red Sox scored 63 runs for him. But they hadn't faced Byrd yet.

"We knew coming in he is not going to walk anybody," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "You have to hit him to beat him."

Trailing 2-0, Byrd shut down Boston until Cleveland tied the game in the fifth and went ahead 6-2 in the sixth.

"He's aggressive," Shoppach said. "If they're not knocking him all over the place, they're not giving us a reason to change our game plan."

Matsuzaka had won his previous six decisions but was driven from the game in the sixth when he allowed four runs despite getting help from a poor call by second base umpire Rick Reed.

Former Boston right fielder Trot Nixon led off with a double and scored the tie-breaking run on David Dellucci's double. Josh Barfield singled to left, scoring Dellucci.

Shoppach then singled Barfield to second. But Barfield rounded the base and was called out trying to get back when left fielder Manny Ramirez threw behind him to Dustin Pedroia, who swiped at the runner. Barfield and manager Eric Wedge argued and replays showed Pedroia missed Barfield by a wide margin.

Two pitches later, Grady Sizemore hit his ninth homer, giving Cleveland a 6-2 lead and bringing Kyle Snyder in for Matsuzaka.

"I don't know if he struggled as much as they hit him," Boston catcher Jason Varitek said. "They were able to get one pitch each at-bat."

Kevin Youkilis extended his hitting streak to a career-best 22 games, but his stretch of multihit games ended at nine. He made a costly out in the seventh when the Red Sox loaded the bases with no outs on three singles that knocked Byrd out of the game.

Youkilis struck out for the second out before David Ortiz lined the ball just foul past the right field pole then was retired on a soft liner.

Mike Lowell added a two-run homer, his 10th, in the eighth.

Boston had taken a 2-0 lead on RBI grounders by Varitek in the second and J.D. Drew in the fourth. Cleveland tied it in the fifth on a single by Shoppach, a double by Sizemore, a run-scoring groundout by Casey Blake and an RBI double by Travis Hafner.


  • Ramirez turned 35 years old on Wednesday.
  • Cleveland starters have walked fewer than three batters in the last 16 games.
  • Lowell extended his home hitting streak to 22 games.
  • Blake and Pedroia extended their hitting streaks to 10 games.
Copyright 2015 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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Dice-K struggles against Cleveland, allowing 12 hits and six runs in less than six innings of work.  (AP)
Dice-K struggles against Cleveland, allowing 12 hits and six runs in less than six innings of work. (AP)

Players of the Game

G. Sizemore
AB 5
R 3
H 2
HR 1

K. Shoppach
AB 5
R 3
H 4
HR 1

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Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF5322112 .269
Casey Blake, 3B4011110 .270
Travis Hafner, DH5032001 .270
Ryan Garko, 1B4020012 .333
Trot Nixon, RF5110024 .272
Jhonny Peralta, SS5010012 .287
David Dellucci, LF5121013 .239
Josh Barfield, 2B5021003 .237
Kelly Shoppach, C5341002 .373
2B - Grady Sizemore (9, Matsuzaka), Travis Hafner 2 (6, Matsuzaka, Romero), Ryan Garko (7, Matsuzaka), Trot Nixon (10, Matsuzaka), David Dellucci (11, Matsuzaka)
HR - Grady Sizemore (9, Matsuzaka), Kelly Shoppach (2, Romero)
RBI - Grady Sizemore 2 (26), Casey Blake (27), Travis Hafner 2 (36), David Dellucci (10), Josh Barfield (25), Kelly Shoppach (8)
2-OUT RBI - Grady Sizemore 2 (15), Travis Hafner (9)
SB - Grady Sizemore (17, 2nd base off Romero/Varitek), Josh Barfield (6, 2nd base off Matsuzaka/Varitek)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Byrd-Garko
E - Josh Barfield (7, Misplayed grounder)
Cleveland Indians
Paul Byrd (W,6-1) 6921010 3.57
Thomas Mastny (H,5) 0.2000010 2.86
Aaron Fultz (H,9) 0.1000000 1.88
Roberto Hernandez 1122101 6.20
Rafael Betancourt 1000010 1.66
WP - Paul Byrd (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Paul Byrd 77-61, Thomas Mastny 7-4, Aaron Fultz 9-7, Roberto Hernandez 23-11, Rafael Betancourt 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Paul Byrd 6-11, Roberto Hernandez 1-2, Rafael Betancourt 2-0
Batters Faced - Paul Byrd 27, Thomas Mastny 2, Aaron Fultz 1, Roberto Hernandez 5, Rafael Betancourt 3
Boston Red Sox
Coco Crisp, CF4000003 .229
Kevin Youkilis, 1B5010024 .354
David Ortiz, DH4010005 .315
Manny Ramirez, LF3110101 .269
J.D. Drew, RF4201001 .226
Mike Lowell, 3B4122010 .330
Jason Varitek, C4021000 .277
Alex Cora, SS4010002 .316
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4020001 .308
2B - Manny Ramirez (10, Byrd), Mike Lowell (15, Byrd), Jason Varitek (6, Byrd)
HR - Mike Lowell (10, Hernandez)
SH - Coco Crisp (3)
RBI - J.D. Drew (17), Mike Lowell 2 (41), Jason Varitek (26)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Manny Ramirez 1
DP - Pedroia-Cora-Youkilis
Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka (L,7-3) 5.21266041 4.83
Kyle Snyder 1.1200120 1.53
J.C. Romero 1222111 3.86
Joel Pineiro 1200000 5.14
HBP - Garko (by Daisuke Matsuzaka)
Pitches-Strikes - Daisuke Matsuzaka 106-73, Kyle Snyder 25-16, J.C. Romero 17-9, Joel Pineiro 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Daisuke Matsuzaka 4-7, Kyle Snyder 1-1, J.C. Romero 2-0, Joel Pineiro 2-1
Batters Faced - Daisuke Matsuzaka 28, Kyle Snyder 7, J.C. Romero 6, Joel Pineiro 5
Game Information
Attendance - 37091
Game Time - 3:34
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Alfonso Marquez, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Rick Reed, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether