CLEVELAND -- Does a scooter leave tire tracks?
Boston’s seven-game winning streak came to a screeching halt Monday night in Progressive Field, where the Cleveland Indians of scooter-riding manager Terry Francona edged the Sox, 3-2, before an intimate gathering of 14,078.
The Sox were within a win of setting a record for the longest winning streak after a losing streak of 10 or more games. Instead, they were held to five hits by former Sox right-hander Justin Masterson and three relievers to drop to three games under .500 (27-30) in Stephen Drew’s first game back with Boston.
Different spot, same bat: Xander Bogaerts made his first start at third after starting 53 games at short and had two hits, including a two-strike, opposite-field two-run home run off reliever Bryan Shaw that accounted for all of Boston’s runs.
So close: The Sox have now played 20 games decided by a run, most in the AL. They’ve lost 13, which also leads the league.
Small lapse, big price: This was John Lackey’s 12th start. In nine of his first 11, he had walked two or fewer batters, one or none in seven. Monday night, Lackey walked two batters in the first inning and they both scored when Lonnie Chisenhall flared an opposite-field double to left with two out.
Masterful Masterson: Justin Masterson, who could leave the Indians as a free agent after the season, struck out 10 Sox batters in seven scoreless innings, allowing just singles to Bogaerts in the first, Dustin Pedroia in the third and David Ortiz in the sixth. Masterson loaded the bases in the first on Bogaerts’ hit and two walks, but got Jonny Gomes looking at a called third strike.
In the fourth inning, he struck out Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Drew on a total of nine pitches. All three strikeouts were swinging.
Drew-some: Stephen Drew made his 2014 debut in the team’s 57th game and went 0-for-2 with a walk. He also participated in three double plays.
Shrugs for Sizemore: Sizemore, a three-time All-Star for the Indians before the age of 25, made his return to Cleveland and was greeted mostly with indifference. He popped to third in the second, struck out swinging in the fourth and struck out again in the seventh before popping out to short to end it.