CLEVELAND (AP) — Brent Lillibridge homered, drove in two runs and scored on a squeeze bunt to back Zack McAllister’s strong pitching as the Cleveland Indians beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 on Saturday night.
Lillibridge, acquired on July 24 from Boston, tied a career high with three hits. He hit his first homer in nearly a year and had an RBI single off Franklin Morales (3-2).
McAllister (5-4) allowed three hits, including a two-run double by Adrian Gonzalez, in a career-high eight innings.
Chris Perez pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 35 chances for Cleveland, 3-1 since an 11-game losing streak.
Boston has lost eight of 11.
All three hits allowed by McAllister were doubles. The right-hander struck out four without issuing a walk.
Michael Brantley’s sacrifice fly broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth.
Lillibridge, acquired from Boston for minor league pitcher Jose De La Torre, put Cleveland ahead 1-0 by driving Morales’ pitch into the left-field seats for his first homer since Aug. 31, 2011, when he was with the Chicago White Sox. Chicago had traded him to Boston on June 24 in the deal for Kevin Youkilis.
Lillibridge raised his average 21 points to .202 and doubled his season RBI total to four. He also was involved in three odd plays in the field in the fourth inning as Boston went ahead 2-1.
After Jacoby Ellsbury doubled, McAllister fielded a bunt by Carl Crawford and turned to third, where Lillibridge was off the bag. Ellsbury advanced, and Crawford was safe, too, on McAllister’s late throw to first.
Next, Dustin Pedroia hit a roller to Lillibridge, who had Ellsbury caught between third and home, but couldn’t make a play anywhere, loading the bases.
Gonzalez followed with a drive high off the wall in left, scoring two runs. Pedroia also tried to score and was thrown out on a strong relay throw by Lillibridge.
Cleveland tied it at 2 in the fifth. Brantley walked, moved up on a balk, took third on a groundout and scored on Lillibridge’s line single to left.
In the sixth, Ellsbury was out trying to stretch a leadoff double. Lillibridge took the throw from center fielder Brantley and made a sprawling tag on the infield side of the bag.
In the bottom half, Asdrubal Cabrera walked and Morales hit Shin-Soo Choo in the back with a pitch. The Indians executed a double steal, and Morales intentionally walked Carlos Santana to load the bases before being replaced by Miller.
Brantley’s sacrifice fly scored Cabrera to make it 3-2.
Morales, a converted reliever making his seventh start, gave up only the two hits to Lillibridge in 5 2-3 innings, but allowed three runs.
Lillibridge hustled his way to a double to lead off the seventh. He took third on a groundout, and scored on Lou Marson’s bunt to make it 4-2.
Ezequiel Carrera had an RBI single in the eighth for Cleveland.
NOTES: The start was delayed 18 minutes because Indians Hall of Fame ceremonies ran long. Right-hander Gaylord Perry, late outfielder Jack Graney, and trainer Jim Warfield were all inducted. ... Indians RHP Roberto Hernandez will start Wednesday in Los Angeles, his first game since being arrested in the Dominican Republic in January. It was discovered he was age 31, three years older than listed and using the identity of a distant cousin, Fausto Carmona. ... Boston called up 3B Danny Valencia from Triple-A Pawtucket to replace Will Middlebrooks, who was placed on the disabled list with a broken right wrist. Boston has had 25 players on the DL this year.