When Daisuke Matsuzaka left the game after five innings, the Red Sox were within striking range. By the time the bullpen finished the sixth inning, the Sox were well on their way to another miserable ending.
Dennys Reyes loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth with two hit batsmen and a walk, and Dan Wheeler followed up by serving up a three-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera, allowing the Cleveland Indians to coast to an 8-4 victory, giving the Red Sox their fifth consecutive loss to start the season.
Matsuzaka, who was sharp late in spring training, got off to a rocky start in the bottom of the first, giving up a two-run home run to Shin-Soo Choo, and a run-scoring single to Cabrera in the bottom of the second.
Dice-K settled down after that, and departed in the fifth with his team well within striking distance.
First baseman Adrian Gonzalez went deep for a two-run bomb in the seventh, his first home run as a member of the Red Sox, cutting the Indians lead to 7-4. However, the Indians bounced back with another run in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy of a Matt LaPorta home run off reliever Tim Wakefield, and the Sox were done.
For the Sox, manager Terry Francona was at a loss to describe what his team is going through right now.
“This game will humble you in a hurry and it’s doing that to us right now,” Francona told the Associated Press. “We’ve got to start acting like a good team. We’ve got to find a way to win a game.”
The Sox, now off to their worst start in 15 seasons, face Cleveland one more time before returning to Fenway Park and a possible hostile crowd to play their home opening series against the New York Yankees.
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