BOSTON (AP) — Doug Fister finally ended a long drought and rookie Rafael Devers continued his torrid start in the big leagues.
Fister took a shutout into the eighth inning, Devers went 4 for 4 and drove in a run and the Boston Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Monday night.
In six big-league games, the 20-year-old Devers is batting .417 (10 for 24) with four RBIs.
“He’s come very fast, this year particularly,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “It helps that he’s gotten off to a good start to build some confidence.”
Devers said he’s felt relaxed since he’s come up.
“I feel very comfortable,” he said through a translator. “I’m just playing my game and things are going well right now.”
For the 33-year-old Fister, it was his first win since August 22nd of last season when he was with Houston, ending a 10-game losing streak.
“A long time coming,” he said. “There’s been a lot of trials and tribulations that come with it.”
Mookie Betts stopped his mini-slump by driving in three runs with two singles, and Eduardo Nunez added three hits and two RBIs for the Red Sox, who won for the third time in nine games.
Bradley Zimmer hit a two-run homer for AL Central-leading Cleveland, which lost its second straight after a season-high nine-game winning streak.
Fister (1-5), claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on June 23, was pulled after giving up Zimmer’s homer with two outs in the eighth. He allowed two runs and five hits, walking two and striking out five.
“He kind of put on a clinic,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Brandon Workman got the final four outs.
Mike Clevinger (5-4) gave up five runs and seven hits in three innings.
“I just wasn’t finding the zone. I was staying low, but I couldn’t seem to find that outside half,” he said. “There’s bad times and good times. I think this is a really good team and we’ll be just fine.”
Betts, the runner-up for last season’s AL MVP award, flied out with the bases loaded to end a loss Sunday and was 3 for his last 27 without an RBI.
Before the game, both clubs beat the non-waiver trade deadline and added bullpen help. The Red Sox picked up right-hander Addison Reed from the Mets for three 22-year-old right-handed pitching prospects.
The Indians acquired righty Joe Smith from Toronto for two minor leaguers.
Betts’ two-run single sparked a three-run second. He scored on Nunez’s double.
In the fourth, Betts added another RBI single, and Nunez added a run-scoring single.
Devers’ RBI single made it 6-0 in the seventh.
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis (hamstring) and OF Lonnie Chisenhall (calf) are both working back from injuries so the club concentrated on bullpen help. “We’re in a little bit of a unique spot where we have a couple of guys coming back,” Francona said.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia missed his third straight game because of a sore left knee. Farrell said the improvement has been “slight” and he’s scheduled to see a specialist Tuesday. President Dave Dombrowski said: “The problem with Dustin is he has a bad knee. He’s had it for years and he’s had to have to deal with that.”
The Red Sox moved 3B Devers from the bottom of the order to sixth. “Slot him up two, three spots to take a different look,” Farrell said.
Xander Bogaerts was dropped to seventh and Mitch Moreland eighth.
The Indians finished July 15-11 for their seventh straight month over .500.
Boston, though, went 13-14 for its first under .500 this season.
The Indians placed RHP Josh Tomlin on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring and recalled LHP Tyler Olson from Triple-A Columbus.
Tomlin (7-9, 5.38 ERA) was injured in his start Sunday against the White Sox.
The 27-year-old Olson is up for the second time this season.
Indians: Carlos Carrasco (10-4, 3.58) is set to start the second game of the series. He’s 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA in 11 road starts this season.
Red Sox: LHP Chris Sale (13-4, 2.37) takes his major-league leading 211 strikeouts and a 12-2 record into his last 16 starts to the mound Tuesday. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last three games.
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