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Indians eke out a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox in ALDS Game 1

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It looked like the Red Sox were off and running when they led off Game 1 of the ALDS against the Indians with a double followed by a single. But they managed just one run in the top of the first against Indians starter Trevor Bauer, who slithered out of the inning with a strikeout and a pop-up, then got the third out at home on a bang-bang tag play.

The Indians tied the game in the bottom of the second after Jose Ramirez led off the frame with a double and scored on a Lonnie Chisenhall single. The Red Sox retook the lead in the third on an Andrew Benintendi solo homer off of Bauer. But then the Indians’ offense would explode. In the bottom half of the third, Roberto Perez led off with a solo homer. After Carlos Santana grounded out, Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor hit back-to-back solo homers of their own, pushing the lead to 5-2.

The Red Sox cut into the deficit with a Sandy Leon solo homer to lead off the fifth but the offense would stop there. Interestingly enough, Indians manager Terry Francona chose to bring All-Star reliever Andrew Miller into the game with two outs in the fifth, taking Bauer out of the game. The move almost backfired as Brock Holt greeted Miller with a double and Mookie Betts drew a walk, putting runners at first and second with two outs for David Ortiz. Miller, however, was able to strike Ortiz out swinging.

Miller came back out for the sixth, striking out Hanley Ramirez and Xander Bogaerts before inducing an inning-ending pop-up from Jackie Bradley, Jr. In the seventh, Miller again took the mound, getting Leon to ground out and Benintendi to strike out. With the right-handed-hitting Dustin Pedroia coming up, Francona lifted Miller for righty Bryan Shaw, who got Pedroia on an inning-ending ground out. We’ll have more on Francona’s use of Miller in an upcoming article.

Holt chipped into the deficit again, drilling a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning, making it a 5-4 game. After Betts popped out, Francona brought closer Cody Allen into the game for a five-out save. Allen gave up a double to Ortiz but ended the eighth with a ground out and a strikeout. In the ninth, Allen fanned Bradley and Leon, then worked around a two-out single by Benintendi by striking out Pedroia on a controversial checked-swing call by first base umpire Phil Cuzzi.

Game 2 between the Red Sox and Indians takes place on Friday at 4:30 PM EDT. David Price will oppose Corey Kluber.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.