BOSTON (AP) Corey Kluber sounded as relaxed after the game as he looked on the mound.
Facing the majors’ top-scoring club, Kluber held them down for seven innings to lead the Cleveland Indians to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
“I was kind of working both sides of the plate to keep them honest,” the soft-spoken righty said. “They’re obviously a very good offensive team. I just tried to make sure we pitched them in enough where they couldn’t get their arms extended.”
Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer as the Indians won their fifth straight game.
Kluber (3-5) allowed a run in each of the first two innings, but gave up just one hit over the next five. He allowed five hits, struck out six and walked two.
“That’s what your ace is supposed to do, but it’s easier said than done,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “That’s a heck of a lineup.”
Boston’s Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to 25 games with a solo home run. The Red Sox homered for a club-record 20th straight game, breaking their mark of 19 set in July 1996.
Cody Allen struck out three in the ninth for his 10th save.
Boston entered the day with 240 runs, 12 ahead second-most St. Louis.
Coming off a pair of two-game series sweeps over Cincinnati, the Indians trailed 2-0 in the third before getting to Clay Buchholz (2-4) for four runs.
“The one pitch to Kipnis is the difference tonight,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Bradley homered into the first row of the center-field bleachers, making it 2-0 in the second.
Buchholz gave up four runs – three earned – on five hits in six innings, walking four and striking out three.
“It just seems like when I’m missing right now, it’s getting hit,” Buchholz said. “That’s part of it. I feel good, it’s just a matter of getting away from the big inning.”
Indians: Francona said RHP Carlos Carrasco threw about 35 pitches on a side session with “no hiccups” and did “some fielding work” as he looks to get back from a strained left hamstring sustained in late April.
Red Sox: Hanley Ramirez came up limping after beating out a bobbled grounder, but stayed in the game. … RHP Carson Smith was put on the 15-day DL (right elbow soreness) and utilityman Brock Holt went on the seven-day concussion DL. It’s Smith’s second trip to the DL for similar soreness. “I want to know what’s going on and get it right,” he said.
Francisco Linder made a “swim move” heading into the plate on Ramirez’s sacrifice fly, switching outstretched arms to avoid catcher Christian Vazquez‘s tag.
“That was real beautiful,” Davis said.
Francona said it’s just a sign of the 22-year-old’s talent.
“Sometimes for players like that, the game’s not going as fast as it is for the rest of us,” he said. “He’s got obviously athleticism, but his instincts are really good too. Some guys may want to do that, but can’t get their body to go that way.”
Boston’s Blake Swihart made his first major league start in left field. The converted catcher made a nice running grab on Mike Napoli.
The Red Sox put a message on the center-field board to welcome back Napoli, a member of the 2013 World Series-winning team.
“It’s a little weird, but I’ve been here as a visiting player before,” he said in the dugout before the game. “It’s a little weird coming to the visiting clubhouse. I’m going to have fun with it. It’s a special place in my heart.”
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer (3-1, 3.89 ERA) is set to make his fifth start after taking Carrasco’s spot in the rotation.
Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly (1-0, 9.35) is expected to come off the DL and start. He’s been sidelined since April 20 with a right shoulder impingement.