Red Sox Defeat Indians, Clinch Tie in AL East
The Boston Red Sox clinched a tie for the American League East championship Thursday night, routing the Cleveland Indians, 12-0, on Mike Boddicker’s three-hit pitching and Ellis Burks’ hitting.
The Red Sox, ending a three-game losing streak, can win their second division title in three seasons Friday night when Roger Clemens faces the Indians. Clemens is 9-0 lifetime against Cleveland.
Boston’s victory eliminated Detroit from the race. New York and Milwaukee can tie only if they win all of their remaining games while the Red Sox lose their final three in Cleveland. Boston is 8-2 against the Indians this season.
Boddicker, 13-15 overall but 7-3 since joining the Red Sox on July 29, retired the first 16 batters. He pitched his first complete game for Boston and his first shutout since May 18, 1987, while with Baltimore.
Burks hit a three-run double that capped a five-run third inning. He had an RBI single during a seven-run seventh.
Jim Rice collected his 2,400th career hit with an RBI single in the seventh. He is third on Boston’s all-time hit list behind Carl Yastrzemski (3,419) and Ted Williams (2,654).
Jody Reed started Boston’s third with a single that ended an 0-for-17 slump. Wade Boggs singled Reed to third, and Dwight Evans walked to load the bases with two outs against Rod Nichols, 1-7.
Mike Greenwell then hit a grounder to the right of first baseman Terry Francona, who let the ball glance off the tip of his glove for a run-scoring error. Todd Benzinger drove in another run with a single to right, and Burks followed with a bases-clearing line drive to the gap in left center that made it 5-0.
The Red Sox put it away in the seventh. Evans and Greenwell walked and Benzinger sacrificed. Burks and Rice followed with RBI singles to chase reliever Mike Walker, and reliever Don Gordon walked Reed before Rich Gedman doubled in two runs.