BOSTON— After popping out with the bases loaded in the second inning, Edwin Encarnacion went into the Cleveland clubhouse, threw his bat in anger and broke it.
“You know, normal stuff like that,” he said with a smile Monday night after homering his next two times up a pair of two-run shots to lead the AL Central-leading Indians to their fourth straight victory, 7-3 over the East-leading Boston Red Sox.
In a rematch of last year’s ALDS, which Cleveland won in a three-game sweep, the Indians opened a 3-0 lead in the second before Encarnacion hit his rally-killing popup. The Red Sox tied it with three solo homers two by Rafael Devers, and one by Andrew Benintendi before Encarnacion came up again in the fifth.
After Jose Ramirez’s leadoff double, Encarnacion cleared the Green Monster and the seats above it to give the Indians a 5-3 lead.
“I was like, ‘OK, here we go. That’s all they’re going to get,”’ said Indians starter Trevor Bauer (11-8), who struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings for his fourth straight win. “Pitching 5-3 is a lot different than pitching 3-3.”
Encarnacion hit another homer in the sixth to make it 7-3, his third multihomer game this season and the 28th of his career.
Indians manager Terry Francona said he could tell his designated hitter was upset with himself from the earlier at-bat.
“When he’s going well, he has a different gear,” Francona said. “Tonight’s a good example of that.”
Bauer allowed three runs all on solo homers by the Red Sox rookies _ on seven hits and two walks as the Indians improved to a season-high five games in front of the second-place Minnesota Twins, who were idle.
Eduardo Nunez had three singles for Boston, which lost for just the second time in 12 games.
IT LOOKS EASY
Devers, who made his major league debut on July 25, also homered in the ninth inning off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman on Sunday night to send that game into extra innings. Still two months from his 21st birthday, Devers became the third-youngest Red Sox player to have a multihomer game.
Only Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro were younger when they did it. Devers has six homers in his first 16 games.
“You work so hard, and it’s for a reason. I was playing well in the minors this year and it’s nice to see the results come,” Devers said through a translator.
Asked if he thought it would be this easy, he said: “It’s not easy at all. I’m just trying to do my best to learn from the mistakes I make.”
The quick visit to Fenway Park by the Indians was to make up an Aug. 2 rainout that came two days after Doug Fister (2-6) shut out Cleveland into the eighth inning. But this time he allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks, striking out five in 4 1/3 innings as his two-game winning streak ended.
“A guy that’s going to pitch to contact is going to give up some hits inside the course of a given game,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “But the additional baserunners on the walks that was the difference in this one.”
Red Sox: Farrell said it was too early to determine whether LHP David Price would need a rehab start in the minors. He last pitched on July 22 before going on the DL with elbow inflammation.
Indians: Start a three-game series at Minnesota on Tuesday. RHP Danny Salazar (4-5) faces RHP Bartolo Colon (2-1).
Red Sox: Open a two-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. RHP Rick Porcello (6-14) faces RHP Mike Leake (7-10).