Playing with heavy hearts, the Boston Red Sox will finally head home in the midst of their longest winning streak in nearly a year.
Jon Lester fired seven innings of two-run ball in Boston's 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians in the finale of a three-game set.
"His curveball came and went tonight. It was the one pitch that he threw some quality strikes with, but I think as the game went on he had better depth with his curve," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
The Red Sox have now taken six straight games, their longest winning stretch since April 23-28 of last season.
Boston has been displaying a jersey in its dugout that reads "617 Boston Strong" -- the city's area code -- in response to Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon. The Red Sox return home to play the Kansas City Royals on Friday, their first game at Fenway Park since the tragedy.
Lester (3-0) fanned five and surrendered four hits and a walk, while Mike Napoli and Jacoby Ellsbury registered two hits and two runs apiece in the win.
Coming off a season in which Lester set career highs with 14 losses, a 4.82 ERA and 25 home runs allowed, the left-hander is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA this year and has struck out 23 batters in 26 innings.
Zach McAllister (1-2) allowed three runs on six hits and three walks over five frames for Cleveland, which has dropped four consecutive tilts.
"I though at times I was pretty good, but other times I was not too good. I threw too many pitches for the innings I pitched, but I was able to battle and get out of tough jams when I needed to," McAllister said.
The Red Sox led 3-2 after six innings, but blew the game open with a three-run seventh.
Ellsbury singled off of Nick Hagadone to begin the frame before Bryan Shaw took over on the mound. Shane Victorino then reached on a fielding error at second by Cord Phelps before Dustin Pedroia flied out to right. Napoli plated Ellsbury with a single to right, and Daniel Nava brought home Victorino with a sacrifice fly to center. Napoli advanced to second on the throw to the plate, then scored when pinch-hitter Mike Carp deposited a base hit into right to make it 6-2.
The Indians got a run back in the eighth when Carlos Santana ripped an RBI double to right, but Andrew Bailey tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to register his second save of the year.
Earlier, Boston jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second after Napoli began the frame with a triple to right before Nava plated him with a base hit through the hole on the right side. Cleveland knotted the contest in the bottom half on Mike Aviles' RBI groundout.
Boston's Jarrod Saltalamacchia lined a two-out solo homer that landed just over the wall down the right-field line in the fourth, and Pedroia slapped a run-scoring single to right in the fifth to make it 3-1.
Drew Stubbs' RBI groundout in the home half cut the deficit to 3-2.
Ellsbury recorded his seventh steal of the season, while Pedroia stole two bags to bring his total to three ... The Red Sox were 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.