for this game

Hafner, Sizemore help Indians avoid sweep

May 31, 2007 - 4:54 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- It took three games but Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner finally heated up, helping the Cleveland Indians salvage the finale of their three-game series with an 8-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday.

Sizemore and Hafner, two of the premier hitters in a vaunted Indians lineup, were a combined 1-for-15 in the first two games.

Sizemore doubled, homered and scored twice while Hafner doubled twice, singled and drove in two runs to lead the offensive charge against Red Sox starter and loser Daisuke Matsuzaka.

"They were huge tonight," Indians manager Eric Wedge said of Sizemore and Hafner. "They are the kind of players that know, especially with a guy like Victor Martinez getting the night off, that they need to step up and they did. It was great to see. David Dellucci had a big hit, too and what a great night for Kelly (Shoppach)."

It was Sizemore who drove Matsuzaka (7-3) from the game by belting a two-run homer just beyond the reach of Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew and into the Indians' bullpen with two outs in the sixth.

"Not only my fastball, but overall, I think I had problems with my control," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter.

Despite working out of a bases-loaded jam in the first and being staked to a 2-0 lead after four innings, the Boston righthander could never find his rhythm.

"I feel like my control is worse than usual when I see that happen," Matsuzaka said of his bases-loaded jam in the first. "I try to make the adjustments within the game but today I wasn't able to make those adjustments too effectively."

Matsuzaka allowed six runs and a season-high 12 hits. He had not allowed double-figure hits in his first 10 starts.

"I didn't think he located his fastball like he has and like you need to against a team like Cleveland with that lineup," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "Against a lineup like that, if you don't consistently make pitches, they have the chance to hurt you."

Boston built its two-run lead on RBI groundouts by Jason Varitek in the second and Drew in the fourth.

Cleveland broke through against Matsuzaka in the fifth. Casey Blake's groundout scored Kelly Shoppach while Hafner's double plated Sizemore with the tying run.

Shoppach, a catcher who came up in the Red Sox organization and struggled in his early days in Boston, earned some redemption with a career-best four hits, including a solo home run, while scoring three times.

"I'm over that," Shoppach said. "It's a little different playing against than playing for. It's not my job to come in here and be a world-beater, just do the best I can. Tonight, four hits, it's nice."

The loss also ended Matsuzaka's personal six-game winning streak, absorbing a loss for the first time since a 2-1 defeat in Toronto on April 17.

Paul Byrd (6-1) earned the win, allowing two runs and nine hits over six-plus innings. The veteran continued his dominating command, throwing first-pitch strikes to 25 of the 27 batters he faced while running his streak of consecutive innings without a walk to 43.

"First-pitch strikes are the key for me because you never want to go 1-0 or 2-0 on a batter," Byrd said. "I was able to get ahead for the most part tonight and make the pitches I wanted to make as opposed to the other way around."

"I thought Paul pitched the ball very well today," Wedge added. "He commanded the ballgame again. He made pitches when he had to and kept away from the big inning. Obviously, we didn't do much against their guy early on and (Byrd) did a great job of keeping us right there."

Byrd left the game after loading the bases with none out in the seventh. But Tom Mastny came on to retire Coco Crisp on a foul pop and Kevin Youkilis on strikes. Lefthander Aaron Fultz was called on to face David Ortiz. After missing foul by just inches from a game-tying grand slam down the right field line, Ortiz lined out softly to third to end the threat.

"That was big, needless to say," Wedge said. "(Byrd) went out there in the seventh inning. I think they did a heckuva job of getting the barrel of the bat to the ball. Mastny did a great job and then you knew we were going to have a battle between Fultz and Ortiz and Aaron did a great job. David (Ortiz) is never an easy out."

Youkilis extended his career-high hitting streak to 22 games with a one-out, clean single to left-center in the third. Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell doubled in the second and homered in the eighth and has now hit in his last 22 games at Fenway Park.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CLEVELAND 0 0 0 0 2 4 0 2 0 8 18 1
    BOSTON 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 4 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CLE - PAUL BYRD, TOM MASTNY (7TH), AARON FULTZ (7TH), ROBERTO
    HERNANDEZ (8TH), RAFAEL BETANCOURT (9TH) AND KELLY SHOPPACH
    BOS - DAISUKE MATSUZAKA, KYLE SNYDER (6TH)

    May 30 10:43 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIKE LOWELL (10) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF ROBERTO HERNANDEZ SCORED J.D. DREW.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 8, BOSTON 4
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: J VARITEK (.279, 2-FOR-3, RBI)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 10:16 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY TRAVIS HAFNER SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HAFNER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 8
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.336, 2-FOR-3, HBP)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 10:02 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KELLY SHOPPACH (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF J.C. ROMERO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 7, BOSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: G SIZEMORE (.270, 2-FOR-4, HR, 2 RBI)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 9:55 PM
  • bones argh, big papi just missed that one

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 9:52 PM
  • bones this will be sick if the red sox let the indians escape after having bases juiced, no outs

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 9:50 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY GRADY SIZEMORE (9) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 6TH OFF DAISUKE MATSUZAKA SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH.
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 6, BOSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: C BLAKE (.272, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 9:05 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOSH BARFIELD SCORED DAVID DELLUCCI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BARFIELD ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 4
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: K SHOPPACH (.333, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 9:01 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DAVID DELLUCCI SCORED TROT NIXON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D DELLUCCI ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 3
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: J BARFIELD (.236, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 8:59 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY TRAVIS HAFNER SCORED GRADY SIZEMORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HAFNER ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 2
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: R GARKO (.333, 1-FOR-1, HBP)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 8:37 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY CASEY BLAKE SCORED KELLY SHOPPACH.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G SIZEMORE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 1
    BOSTON 2 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR CLEVELAND: T HAFNER (.263, 1-FOR-2)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 8:34 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY J.D. DREW SCORED MANNY RAMIREZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    BOSTON 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.330, 1-FOR-1)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 8:20 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JASON VARITEK SCORED J.D. DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M LOWELL ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CLEVELAND 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: A CORA (.319, 2 HR, 13 RBI)

    Indians vs. Red SoxMay 30 7:41 PM