Chris Seddon pitched well enough to win, but instead took a hard-luck loss to Clay Buchholz and the Boston Red Sox.
Seddon allowed two earned runs in six innings. That wasn't good enough for the Cleveland Indians, who lost 3-2 to the Red Sox on Friday night.
Indians manager Manny Acta knew where to place the credit following the game.
"That was the best game pitched against us so far," Acta said after Buchholz pitched a two-hitter, struck out six and didn't walk a batter. "That's the best I've seen a guy against us, and we've seen some pretty good pitching this year. We couldn't do anything."
Asdrubal Cabrera had both Cleveland hits, including his 13th homer in the first, but the Indians had their two-game winning streak broken and lost for the 12th time in 14 games. Cabrera also doubled in the fourth.
"The only guy who had good swings against him was Cabrera," Acta said. "The night belonged to Buchholz. He was terrific."
Seddon, making his second start since being called up from Triple-A Columbus on Aug. 5, allowed three runs overall. His one big mistake — a two-run homer to Cody Ross in the sixth inning — cost him the game. The 420-foot blast cleared the 19-foot high wall in center field and broke a 1-1 tie.
"It was a slider," Seddon said. "I should have bounced it. I didn't bounce it and he hit it."
Seddon was also done in by his throwing error in the fourth when he tried to pick Mike Aviles off first. The awkward looking throw wasn't close. First baseman Casey Kotchman didn't have a chance to corral it, and the ball rolled toward the stands. Aviles took third and scored on Dustin Pedroia's single to left for an unearned run.
Asked what happened on the pickoff throw, Seddon said, "I don't know. I just lost it."
Seddon allowed five hits, walked two and struck out three, but it's unclear how long he will remain in the rotation, or on the team. Roberto Hernandez, the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona, allowed one run in seven innings in his final rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus on Friday. The right-hander's three-week suspension for age and identity fraud is over and he will likely return to the rotation next week.
"We're going to have to make a decision," Acta said.
The Red Sox broke a three-game losing streak. Buchholz (10-3) gave up one earned run in his second complete game of the season and fifth of his career. The right-hander improved to 8-2 in 17 starts following a loss the last two years.
"It's great mentally to go ahead by two runs," he said. "You've got a little room until it is back down to one and then you have step up again. I had some tough hitters (Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo) who could take me out with one swing, but I was able to get it done."
The news wasn't all good for the Red Sox. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks left in the ninth after being hit in the right wrist with a pitch from Esmil Rogers.
Boston's leadoff batter Jacoby Ellsbury was twice robbed of potential hits as Cleveland preserved the 1-1 tie. In the fourth, left fielder Ezequiel Carrera dived to his left to snag a line drive hit by Ellsbury in the left-center gap. In the fifth, center fielder Michael Brantley raced in and dived along his stomach to take away a potential bloop hit.
Cleveland scored an unearned run in the sixth when Jason Donald went to third as Boston made two errors on his leadoff grounder up the middle. Pedroia got in front of the ball, but it skipped past him. Aviles backed up the play, tracked down the ball in short center, and threw to first because Donald made a wide turn with the idea of trying for second. He ended up walking to third when Aviles' throw skipped into the stands behind the Boston dugout.
Donald scored on Carrera's sacrifice fly to make it 3-2.
NOTES: Indians DH Travis Hafner, on the DL with a bulging disc in his back, had an injection to relieve inflammation. There is no timetable for his return. ... Cleveland released RHP Derek Lowe, who had been designated for assignment on Aug. 2. ... 2B Jason Kipnis (stiff neck) missed his second straight game. ... RHP Zach McAllister (4-4) faces LHP Franklin Morales (3-2) in the series' third game Saturday.