Manny Ramirez homered and drove in four runs against his former team as the Red Sox held on for a 10-9 victory Monday, ending the Indians’ nine-game winning streak.
“Well, we won, barely,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “I think that’s what you call hanging on for dear life. That’s a pretty good team over there. They don’t stop playing.”
The streak was the Indians’ longest since 2002 and had moved the club seven games above .500.
Ramirez, who left Cleveland as a free agent after the 2000 season, hit his 15th homer for a 3-1 lead in the fourth. He was simultaneously booed by the hometown crowd and cheered by visiting Red Sox fans as he rounded the bases. He is 8-for-14 with four home runs and seven RBIs against C.C. Sabathia, who stood with his hands on his hips as Ramirez trotted home.
Cleveland made it close with consecutive home runs in the eighth, but Johnny Damon connected in the ninth to provide a key insurance run for the Red Sox, who have won seven of eight.
“They had the momentum. I knew we needed to do something real bad or we were going to be in trouble,” Damon said.
Boston has scored six or more runs in nine of its last 10 games.
“These guys are coming out scoring runs,” said David Wells, who got the win on Monday. “You’ll never feel bad getting nine, 10 runs a game.”
The Indians have won 12 of 13 and are 25-12 since May 9. Their nine-game winning streak at home was their longest since 1996.
Despite Monday’s loss, manager Eric Wedge said the best is yet to come from the Indians, especially on offense. Cleveland is hitting .283 (139-for-492) over the last 14 games and averaging almost six runs per game.