Cleveland manager Manny Acta's pregame lesson about Fenway Park's quirky angles and dimensions certainly couldn't cover what Asdrubal Cabrera's homer did.
Cabrera's second two-run homer of the game, originally ruled a single off the short wall in right field and overturned by replay review, broke an eighth-inning tie and lifted the Indians to a 9-6 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night.
"It might be the only park," Cabrera said when asked if he thought his homer would have been out in any other ballpark.
Travis Hafner homered after Cabrera's first of the game as the Indians won for just the third time in their last 11 games.
"It all starts with Asdrubal," Acta said. "Asdrubal is the one that gets us going like he has all year."
Cabrera's homer came off reliever Daniel Bard (1-5) and halted his scoreless innings streak at 26 1-3, longest active in the majors. It was the first run he allowed after 25 scoreless appearances.
Acta held a brief team meeting before the game.
"We have a lot of kids that have never been here, a different ballpark, just for them to really take advantage of it with extra batting practice and all that," he said. "Just let the guys know that this is fun, a couple of games out and two months to go. In a way I needed to let them know we're still in it, but we needed to get back to what got us to where we're at."
After Jason Kipnis singled leading off the eighth, Cabrera hit a fly ball down the right field line that hooked around the Pesky Pole and caromed off what looked like the top of the wall to outfielder Josh Reddick. Replays appeared to show the ball hitting beyond the padding on the top of the approximately 5-foot wall and bouncing back into play off a female fan's knee. After a delay of a few minutes, the umpires came back onto the field and ruled it a home run and Cabrera finished his trot around the bases, making it 7-5. Matt LaPorta added an RBI double in the inning.
"I think they all knew about the Pesky Pole," Acta said. "I heard them talking about it in the dugout."
Bard was surprised that it was ruled a homer, lightly tossing the ball to the ground when the umpires came back.
"It looked like it hit off the top of the wall and came back in," he said. "But I guess further review showed that it hit off a lady's knee, so it looks like they got it right. It's still tough to call."
Rafael Perez (4-1) pitched one inning of scoreless relief for the win.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a broken-bat two-run homer and Carl Crawford had a solo homer, double and scored two runs for Boston, which was coming off a 20-6 record in July — it's first 20-win month since May 2007.
The Indians started a seven-game road trip against division leaders. After four against the AL East-leading Red Sox, they are scheduled to play three in Texas against the West-leading Rangers this weekend.
After the Indians had grabbed a 5-3 lead in the sixth, Saltalamacchia hit his improbable two-run homer off starter Josh Tomlin in the bottom half. With the end of his bat flying down the first-base line, the ball carried into the seats in right. Indians first baseman LaPorta appeared to be staring into the Red Sox dugout in disbelief as Saltalamacchia rounded the bases.
"I still knew how short it was in right field," Tomlin said. "I was just hoping it was further down than it was."
Saltalamacchia knew where it was going, thinking it had a good chance to make it into the stands in short right.
"I hit it on the good part of the bat. I didn't even feel it off the bat and the bat kind of broke," he said. "Luckily we're in Fenway and it hit the corner there and kept going."
Trailing 3-2 in the sixth, Cleveland grabbed the lead on the consecutive homers by Cabrera and Hafner against starter John Lackey. Cabrera hit his into the deepest part of Fenway right field, a drive that carried into the first row of seats over a short wall for his 18th of the season after Kipnis doubled. Hafner then belted his 10th into Boston's bullpen.
Lackey, who had won his last four starts for his best stretch of the season, gave up five runs and eight hits, struck out five and didn't walk anyone in 6 2-3 innings.
Boston took a 3-1 lead by scoring a run in the second and two in the third.
Kosuke Fukudome's RBI single made it 3-2.
Marco Scutaro, who left the game with what the club called dizziness in the fourth inning, made it 1-0 with an RBI single.
Michael Brantley's RBI double tied it in the third.
The Red Sox added two in third on Kevin Youkilis' RBI triple off the center-field wall and Crawford's homer.
Tomlin allowed five runs and 10 hits in six innings.
NOTES: Boston manager Terry Francona said Scutaro was dizzy and his heart rate was elevated, but he checked out fine. They plan to look at him again Tuesday. ... Acta said RF Shin-Soo Choo, out since late June with a broken left thumb, will likely take BP on the field later this week. Acta would not talk about any rehab dates yet. "He's got a couple of steps before that," Acta said. Choo was Cleveland's top hitter the past two seasons. ... Boston utility INF Jed Lowrie, on the 15-day DL since June 17 with a strained left shoulder, started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday. ... It was the fifth time this season the Indians hit consecutive homers.