CLEVELAND (AP) – Rafael Devers homered and singled, extending his robust hit streak to eight straight at-bats, and Xander Bogaerts connected twice to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 5-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday.
Devers went 6 for 6 with four doubles Tuesday night in Boston’s 7-6, 10-inning win. A day later, he singled in the first inning and hit a solo home run in the third before being retired on a comebacker in the fifth.
The MLB record for consecutive hits is 12, last accomplished by Detroit’s Walt Dropo in 1952. Pinky Higgins got 12 straight for the Red Sox in 1938.
Bogaerts hit a solo drive in the third – his 100th career homer – and had a three-run shot in the seventh as Boston kept its modest postseason hopes alive. The Red Sox entered the day 8 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay for the second AL wild-card spot.
Devers and Bogaerts opened the scoring in the third with back-to-back home runs off Shane Bieber (12-5). Bogaerts’ drive off Nick Goody gave him his fourth multi-homer game of the season.
Boston used seven pitchers with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (1-0) working two innings for his first win since last Sept. 24. Left-hander Brian Johnson started and allowed an unearned run in 2 2/3 innings.
Cleveland scored its only run in the third when Francisco Lindor singled, advanced on errors by Bogaerts and Devers, and scored on a Johnson wild pitch. The Indians continue to lead the AL wild-card race.
Bieber allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, losing for the second time in 10 starts since June 25. The All-Star Game MVP struck out eight, including his 200th of the year.
Left-hander Logan Allen, acquired from San Diego in a three-team trade that also included Cincinnati on July 31, made his Indians debut by pitching 2 1/3 innings.
Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig served the third and final game of his suspension for taking part in an on-field altercation with the Reds against Pittsburgh. The Cuban-born slugger was sworn in as a United States citizen earlier in the day in Miami.
Indians RHP Corey Kluber (right forearm fracture), who has been on the injured list since May 2, will make his third rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Columbus at Charlotte. The two-time AL Cy Young Award winner pitched four innings, allowing one run, for Double-A Akron on Tuesday. “His velocity is starting to tick up a bit,” manager Terry Francona said. “By all accounts, he looked like Kluber.”
Red Sox: RHP Heath Hembree (right elbow inflammation) has been on the 10-day injured list since August 2, but there is no timetable for his return. He received a plasma-rich platelet injection last week and has not been cleared to resume baseball activities.
Indians: RHP Dan Otero (right shoulder inflammation) is scheduled to pitch on back-to-back days this weekend for Double-A Akron. The 34-year-old has made nine total rehab appearances with three minor league teams, posting a 4.15 ERA in 8 2/3 innings.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (10-9, 5.67 ERA) faces Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Fenway Park. He has an 8.28 ERA over his last nine starts, allowing 42 earned runs in 45 2/3 innings.
Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (4-3, 4.68 ERA) starts at Yankee Stadium for the first time in his career as Cleveland begins a four-game series in New York. He is 1-1 with a 5.47 ERA in five road appearances this season.
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