BOSTON (AP) -The
Boston Red Sox
barely had time to dry off from their champagne-spraying celebration before they started pounding
One game after clinching a playoff berth, the
for four runs in the first inning, then pinch-hitter
tripled and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth to give Boston a 5-4 victory over the Indians on Wednesday night.
The victory staved off elimination in the AL East for one more day because Tampa Bay beat Baltimore 11-6 to lower its magic
number to clinch the division to one.
''We're still trying to play and win the division,'' said
, who had his 54th double and his 20th stolen base. ''Guys are still going to come out and play hard. ... But we'll be ready
If the Indians were hoping the
would be hung over from their celebration, they quickly learned otherwise.
Pedroia doubled and scored on
's double to help the
open a 4-0 lead less than 24 hours after clinching at least a wild-card berth. Carmona managed to finish the first but didn't
make it out for the second - the shortest outing for an Indians starter since he lasted one inning on June 27, 2007.
''That's what they do. They come out and swing the bats,'' said
, who pitched five innings of shutout relief to keep the Indians in the game. ''Fausto, I'm sure he'd like to have some of
those pitches back. But he had a rough one.''
Bullington relieved Carmona and held Boston scoreless until the Indians tied it with one in the second, two in the third and
one in the fifth. The top five batters in the order each had two hits for Cleveland.
(4-2) earned the victory with 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief, allowing one hit and striking out one.
(4-4) gave up a run on two hits and an intentional walk in one inning.
pitched the ninth for his second save, allowing
to rest closer
and most of his key relievers.
Perez was the fourth Indians pitcher, taking over to start the eighth and striking out
before Bailey lined the first pitch he saw high off the Green Monster near center field for a standup triple. Kotsay, also
swinging at the first pitch, lined one down the first-base line and into the corner for an RBI double.
Carmona pitched Games 2 and 6 against the
in the playoffs last year - both in Fenway Park - and gave up a total of 11 runs in six innings. He also gave up five runs
in one inning over two relief appearances - both losses - in Boston midway through the 2006 season.
In all, he was charged with four runs on five hits and a walk while striking out one in one inning, his shortest outing in
more than a year. He said through a translator that nothing that happened in the past affected him when he returned to the
Fenway mound on Wednesday.
''He just wasn't able to put guys away,'' manager
said. ''They just really made him work.''
outfielder J.D. Drew returned to the lineup for the first time in a month but played just three innings before leaving the
game for a pinch runner.
''It went well. It got a little stiff, but not too bad,'' said Drew, who went on the disabled list on Aug. 18 with a strained
lower back. ''I really didn't expect to get as jelly-legged as I did out there. But when you think that I'm not doing anything
for five or six weeks except sit down and lay down ... we've got some catching up to do.''
Francona said he would consider using Drew as the designated hitter on Thursday.
Notes: Indians 3B
, who strained his calf on Tuesday and left the game, was not in the lineup and he will return to Cleveland on Thursday morning.
became the first team to clinch a playoff spot by beating a 20-game winner since Oakland beat Wilber Wood to win the AL West
in 1973, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Pedroia joined
(49) with at least 20 and giving the
three players with 20 or more steals for the first time since 1914. Pedroia banged his nose diving for a grounder but stayed
in the game. ...
gave up four runs on 11 hits and a walk while striking out four in five innings. ...
had his first major-league RBI for the
, in the first.