CLEVELAND (Reuters) - The Cleveland Indians inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the Boston Red Sox Tuesday, the fourth loss on the spin to start the new season for a team tipped by many to win this year's World Series.

Josh Tomlin pitched seven strong innings allowing just one run on three hits, three walks and struck out three and Chris Perez picked up the save for the Indians.

"Josh used his change-up to keep the lefties off balance. When they were looking for the change, he sneaked his fastball and cutter in there," Indians manager Manny Acta told reporters.

"He doesn't throw in the mid-90s, but when his off-speed pitches are working, his fastball is effective."

Travis Hafner doubled with one out in the fourth and Orlando Cabrera drove him in with a single.

Cabrera later scored on an RBI single by Jack Hannahan. Asdrubal Cabrera scored Cleveland's third run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Santana.

David Ortiz opened the scoring for the visiting Red Sox in the second inning on a single by Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

J.D. Drew tried to score from second base on the hit but was sharply thrown out at the plate by Choo Shin-soo.

"I think we're all pretty frustrated," Saltalamacchia said. "We know we're better than this. I think everyone knows we're better than this.

"We've just got to step up our game. It's part of being the Red Sox. We know everyone else is going to step up their game. We need to do the same thing."

Josh Beckett took the loss for Boston, who are yet to win a game this season, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks in five innings while striking out four.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario. Editing by Alastair Himmer)