BOSTON — John Lackey pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in his second straight strong start and Mike Carp hit a three-run homer, powering the Red Sox to a rain-soaked 8-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians Friday night.
Lackey, 3-4 in his comeback season from Tommy John surgery, gave up two hits and an unearned run in the third inning but didn’t allow another hit in his second straight win. He walked three and struck out eight while out-pitching Cleveland ace and former Red Sox righty Justin Masterson (7-3).
Lackey hasn’t allowed an earned run and has yielded just three hits in 13 innings over his last two starts.
The loss, the third in the last four games, dropped the previously surging Indians out of first place in the AL Central, a half-game behind the Tigers.
Carp ended an 0-for-21 slump with his third homer of the season in the second inning. The Red Sox got another run in the sixth on an RBI fielder’s choice by Mike Napoli, who was safe at first on a bad throw by second baseman Jason Kipnis. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia both delivered a two-run singles in the seventh.
The Red Sox, just 9-12 in their last 21 games, remained a game behind the Yankees in the AL East.
Masterson, who had won his three previous starts and had allowed no runs in 16 innings in his last two, worked six-plus innings in this one. He left after a leadoff double by Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Indians manager Terry Francona, in his second game back at Fenway Park as an opposing manager, received big ovations while making two pitching changes.
The Red Sox are 4-1 against Francona’s Indians this season, scoring 27 runs in the four wins.
It rained through the entire game, easing up at times.
Heavy rain began falling about two hours before the scheduled game time. The start was delayed 44 minutes and the game began in a steady, blowing rain.
The Red Sox took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when David Ortiz walked and moved to second on a single by Napoli. After Ortiz went to third on Saltalamacchia’s liner to right, Carp ripped his homer to right field, ending Masterson’s 20-inning scoreless streak.
The Indians got a run back in a lengthy third. Mark Reynolds and Michael Brantley opened with singles but were still on first and second with two out when Reynolds led a double steal. He wound up scoring when Saltalamacchia overthrew third. Reynolds might have been in trouble at the plate, but Carp mishandled the wet ball in left field.
Kipnis walked and stole the third base of the inning, his 10th of the season. But Asdrubal Cabrera grounded out and the Indians settled for the one unearned run. It was the second unearned run scored on Lackey in his last two starts.
Pedroia, whose diving stab started a double play on Jason Giambi in the Cleveland second, banged into one of his own to end the Boston third.
Sox put two on DL, recall two
The Red Sox had a bit of a roster shakeup earlier in the day with three health-related moves. Third baseman Will Middlebrooks (back) and right fielder Shane Victorino (hamstring) were both disabled, Victorino retroactive to May 21, and INF Jose Iglesias and RHP Alfredo Aceves were recalled from Pawtucket. Also, C David Ross was activated from the concussion DL and C Ryan Lavarnway was returned to Triple-A. ... In four starts with the PawSox after his demotion, Aceves was 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA. He was slated for long relief with the Sox. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Friday... Middlebrooks was in an 0-for-11 slump that dropped his batting average to .201. ... Iglesias, a shortstop prospect, made his second career start at 3B on Friday, both appearances coming in the last three days. ... The Indians welcomed 1B Nick Swisher back from the paternity list after he spent three days with wife JoAnna following the birth of their first child. The White Sox sent 2B Cord Phelps back to the minors to make room for Swisher. ... Indians LHP Scott Kazmir (2-2) continues his comeback attempt when he faces Boston LHP Jon Lester (6-1) in Game 3 of the series today.