MLB: Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians

Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez delivers a pitch during the first inning of Monday night's game against the Indians at Cleveland's Progressive Field. USA TODAY SPORTS

Carlos Santana played hero yet again with a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead the host Cleveland Indians past the Boston Red Sox, 6-5, Monday in the opener of a three-game series.

Santana, who hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the 10th inning at Minnesota on Sunday, took Marcus Walden (7-2) deep to center field leading off the ninth. The blast gave the Indians sole possession of first place in the American League Central while the Twins were idle.

Much like Sunday, Santana picked up closer Brad Hand (6-3), who blew a save opportunity for the second day in a row. Xander Bogaerts had tied the score in the top of the ninth with a two-out RBI double to the wall that right fielder Tyler Naquin appeared to have sized up, only to have it elude him and forge a 5-5 tie.

The win was Cleveland's 22nd in 31 games since the All-Star break. Boston dropped its third straight and fell for the 12th time in the past 15 games.

Prior to the ninth, the Indians received all their offense on a two-run homer by Franmil Reyes in the first inning and a three-run shot by Jose Ramirez in the third. Reyes belted his first homer with Cleveland after he hit 27 as a member of the San Diego Padres prior to being dealt at the July 31 trade deadline.

The Red Sox began pecking back with a run in the second. J.D. Martinez made it 5-2 with a leadoff homer in the fourth, and Brock Holt drove in a run with an RBI double to get Boston within 5-3.

Boston pushed it to 5-4 on Jackie Bradley Jr.'s leadoff homer in the seventh but stranded the tying and go-ahead runs at second and third with two outs in the eighth.

Indians starter Zach Plesac allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out two in five innings.

His Red Sox counterpart, Eduardo Rodriguez, battled through six innings, giving up five runs on 10 hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

Indians reliever Hunter Wood exited in the sixth inning with a right leg injury sustained on a comebacker.

--Field Level Media