BOSTON (AP) - The Cleveland Indians couldn't have asked for a much better performance from starting pitcher Zach McAllister.
Recalled from Triple-A Columbus earlier in the day, McAllister's career-high eight strikeouts weren't enough to compensate for one of Cleveland's worst offensive games of the year. The Indians finished with just three hits, tying a season low in a 4-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.
``I think I'd rather have less strikeouts with a `W,'' McAllister said. ``It's tough. I thought I was able to do a decent job of keeping our team in the game and was able to get the bullpen a little break, so I was definitely happy with that. But it happened. Hopefully we can bounce back tomorrow.'
The Indians lost for the second straight night to the Red Sox, who are on a winning streak for the first time this month.
Felix Doubront pitched six strong innings and Cody Ross homered for Boston.
Doubront (3-1) allowed one run on three hits, which was all the Indians would get as relievers Andrew Miller, Vicente Padilla and Alfredo Aceves didn't allow a baserunner over the final three innings.
Aceves got his seventh save with a perfect ninth, striking out Carlos Santana to end it just 2 hours, 30 minutes after it started.
Doubront was pulled before the seventh after throwing 109 pitches through six innings. He walked two and struck out five.
``We couldn't get any offense going against Doubront. He was pitching to both sides of the plate,' Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. ``He just neutralized all of our left-handed hitters and even our switch-hitters.'
McAllister was still looking strong in the sixth, striking out Will Middlebrooks and Daniel Nava for two quick outs and had a 1-2 count on Ross, but he left the next pitch over the plate and Ross drove it all the way out of the park - clearing the Green Monster and sign above it with several feet to spare for his sixth homer of the season.
``I thought it was a decent pitch. Obviously it wasn't in far enough as I would have liked,' McAllister said. ``I just didn't get it in enough.'
Dustin Pedroia put Boston up 1-0 in the third with a double high off the wall in left field, driving in Mike Aviles after he led off the inning with a single. David Ortiz followed with a line drive to deep left-center and rumbled his way to second safely for an RBI double.
Nava led off the fourth with a single, went to third on a Jarrod Saltalamacchia's ground-rule double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Aviles. The fly ball to left wasn't particularly deep and Shelley Duncan made a great throw to home, but Nava slid between catcher Lou Marsdon's legs just ahead of the tag.
Marsdon led off the sixth with a double to right, went to third on a fielder's choice and scored Cleveland's first run on Jason Kipnis' infield single. That was all Cleveland would score in its second straight loss.
Notes: McAllister was making just his second start of the season for the Indians. He was recalled earlier Saturday from Triple-A Columbus, less than a week after only other start - a win over the Chicago White Sox on May 7. ... Marsdon ended an 0-for-13 slump with a leadoff double in the sixth. ... Cleveland's Travis Hafner was thrown out in the second while trying to stretch a single into a double. ... The Indians placed RHP Josh Tomlin on the 15-day disabled list with soreness in his right wrist. The club filled his roster spot with McAllister. ... The Red Sox last won two in a row during a five-game streak from April 24-28.
The Associated Press News Service
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