CLEVELAND — Clay Buchholz has been on a roll in recent starts, and Friday night he rolled through the Cleveland Indians' lineup in one of Boston's most dominating pitching performances of the season.
Buchholz tossed a two-hitter in a 3-2 win over Cleveland, snapping the Red Sox's three-game losing streak.
Asdrubal Cabrera had the only two hits for the Indians, a first inning home run and a double in the fourth inning. The only other Cleveland base runner reached on an error.
Buchholz faced the minimum three batters in six of the nine innings, retiring 27 of the 30 batters he face as he improved his record to 10-3. In his last five starts Buchholz is 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA and opposing batters are hitting .176 against him.
In pitching his fifth career complete game, his second this year, Buchholz was masterful, and the Boston offense squeezed out just enough offense to win.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the top of the sixth, Dustin Pedroia stroked a one-out single to center off left-hander Chris Seddon, the Cleveland starter.
Adrian Gonzalez flied out for the second out, but Cody Ross blasted a mammoth two-run home run over the wall in center field, giving Boston a 3-1 lead.
It was another big blow for Ross off a left-hander. He came into the game leading the major leagues with a .730 slugging percentage vs. left-handers. Ten of Ross' last 21 hits off left-handers have been home runs.
Cleveland countered with a gift run in the bottom of the sixth. Jason Donald led off the inning by hitting a bouncer up the middle. Pedroia charged the ball but whiffed on it for an error. The ball rolled into shallow center field where shortstop Mike Aviles picked it up and threw to first trying to get Donald, who took a wide turn.
Aviles' throw bounced out of play, allowing Donald to advance to third base. Ezequiel Carrera's sacrifice fly drove in Donald and cut the Boston lead to 3-2.
Seddon (0-1) pitched six solid innings for Cleveland, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits.
Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Asdrubal Cabrera belted a home run off Boston starter Clay Buchholz.
Seddon's spot in the rotation appears tenuous, once Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, is activated next week.
In his second start since being recalled from Class AAA Columbus, Seddon held Boston scoreless on one hit through the first three innings.
In the fourth, Seddon walked Aviles with one out, then threw wildly to first on a pickoff attempt. Aviles raced all the way to third base and scored on a single by Pedroia that tied it at 1-1.
Except for Cabrera's home run, Buchholz dominated Cleveland hitters in the first five innings, retiring 15 of the 17 batters he faced. The Indians only had two hits in the first five innings, both by Cabrera.
In addition to his first inning home run, Cabrera belted a leadoff double in the fourth inning, but Buchholz pitched out of that inning and retired the side in order in the fifth as the score remained 1-1.
NOTES:Boston manager Bobby Valentine said left-hander Felix Doubront, who has struggled in recent starts, will be replaced in the rotation for at least one turn by Aaron Cook. Doubront gave up four runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings and was the losing pitcher in a 5-3 loss to Cleveland Thursday.
... Outfielder Scott Podsednik, signed by Boston Friday, is expected to be used as a fourth outfielder and was in the starting lineup in left field Friday. ... Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner, who is on the disabled list with a bulging disk, is on anti-inflammatory medication and was given an epidural Friday. ... Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, made his last scheduled minor league rehab start Friday night for Class AAA Columbus. Manager Manny Acta said he expects the Indians to activate Hernandez and put him in the starting rotation next week.