Cleveland, OH – Brent Lillibridge has bounced around between three American League teams this season, and he showed one of the old ones why they should have kept him.
Lillibridge had three hits, including a homer, driving in two and scoring twice to help the Cleveland Indians defeat the Red Sox with a 5-2 victory at Progressive Field.
Lillibridge tied a career high with seven total bases against a team with which he played only 10 games. He was involved in the deal with the White Sox that sent Kevin Youkilis from Boston to Chicago, and Cleveland acquired him shortly thereafter.
"That's the biggest thing, just getting in the lineup, trying to help out," said Lillibridge. "I feel like, in a way, I'm in a tryout."
Zach McAllister (5-4) had arguably the best start of his short career for a team that desperately needs some solid starting pitching. McAllister, a mid- season replacement for a rotation that ranks 27th in ERA, lasted a career-high eight innings, allowing only three hits and two runs while striking four. He failed to issue a walk.
Chris Perez earned save No. 31 in the Indians' third win in four games following an 11-game skid.
Adrian Gonzalez had a two-run double for the Red Sox, who continue to slide down the standings with their eighth loss in 11 games. Franklin Morales (3-3) allowed only two hits in 5 1/3 innings, but four walks contributed to his yielding three runs to take the loss.
"He threw a ball 3-1 down the middle to Lillibridge and then seemed to lose his control there in the last inning," said Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine of Morales. "Other than that a walk and a balk and a stolen base gave them a run. He pitched pretty good."
After neither team managed a baserunner in the first 2 1/2 innings, Lillibridge led off the bottom of the third with a blast to left to put Cleveland on the board.
The Red Sox answered immediately following some poor fielding decisions by the Indians. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled leading off, and Carl Crawford put down a sacrifice bunt. McAllister fielded it and looked to third before throwing to first, but was too late to retire Crawford.
Dustin Pedroia followed with a grounder to Lillibridge at third, and he looked to throw out Ellsbury trying to score. Ellsbury was able to scamper back to third safely, leaving the bases loaded with nobody out.
Gonzalez cashed in with a double off the wall, scoring two, though Pedroia was thrown out at the plate. McAllister limited the damage from there, leaving Boston ahead by one.
It was all the Red Sox got in the game; Lillibridge tied the game with an RBI single in the fifth, and Michael Brantley lifted a sacrifice fly in the sixth with the bases loaded to put the Indians ahead for good. Cleveland scored in the inning without a hit, putting runners on via two walks and a hit batsman.
McAllister allowed only one hit from the fifth through the eighth -- an Ellsbury double that was turned into an out when he tried to stretch it to a triple.
The Indians added insurance in the seventh on Lou Marson's suicide squeeze and in the eighth on Ezequiel Carrera's RBI single, and Perez worked around a two- out single to earn the save in the ninth.
The Red Sox lead the season series, 4-3...The Indians improved to only 6-13 on Saturday, their worst record among the seven days of the week...The Red Sox announced Will Middlebrooks broke his right wrist and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.