Rally knocks wind from Red Sox’s sails
Allen’s two-run homer helps Kluber capture his MLB-leading 16th victory
Boston pitcher Rick Porcello had the wind knocked out of him after taking a hard liner to the stomach. Two pitches later, Cleveland’s Greg Allen knocked the energy right out of Fenway Park.
Allen hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning right after Porcello was struck, Corey Kluber tied for the major league lead with his 16th win and the Indians beat the Red Sox 5-4 Monday night.
“That was intense,” Allen said. “You really weren’t sure [if he was staying in] especially after a hit like that.”
In a meeting of AL division leaders — and a matchup of the last two Cy Young Award winners, it was 3-all into the seventh.
Porcello (15-6) retired the leadoff batter and walked the next hitter. Yan Gomes followed with a liner that hit Porcello near the stomach — Porcello retrieved the ball near the mound, threw to second for a forceout and then slid to his knees, grabbing the spot where he was hit.
Porcello was checked on the mound, took a practice toss or two, and stayed in the game. Allen then sent a drive into the Indians’ bullpen for his second home run of the season.
“I don’t think the one that hit him had any effect on the next pitch. The first changeup was a good one,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “Then he threw another one and he hung it.”
Porcello said after he caught his breath that he was fine. He was more bothered by what he threw after that.
“The pitch to Allen — I’m not trying to take anything away from him — but I think even I could have hit that one pretty hard,” he said. “That was not a good pitch and it came at the worst possible time.”
Kluber (16-6) pitched into the seventh inning and matched Washington’s Max Scherzer and the Yankees’ Luis Severino for the most victories in the majors.
Michael Brantley and Melky Cabrera also homered to help the AL Central-leading Indians improve to 14-4 in August.
Xander Bogaerts had an early two-run single and an RBI single in the ninth for East-leading Boston.
The Red Sox had the first two runners on against closer Cody Allen in the ninth, and scored a run on Bogaerts’ dribbler with two outs before Ian Kinsler flied out with two runners on base, leaving them with just their fifth loss in 22 games.
“That’s what’s called holding on for dear life,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Allen posted his 25th save.
“You can breathe a sigh of relief after throwing 27 pitches and 20 of them were questionable and seven of them were good,” he said.
Kluber, who won his second Cy Young Award last year, gave up three runs and nine hits, striking out six and walking one in 6 1/3 innings.
Porcello allowed five runs on three homers, fanning six and walking one over seven.
The game featured four top contenders for the AL MVP award: Boston outfielder Mookie Betts, who leads the majors in hitting (.342), and DH/outfielder J.D. Martinez, the majors’ home run (38) and RBIs leader (106), along with Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez (second in homers with 37) and shortstop Francisco Lindor.