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MLB Regular Season Thread  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 02:22 am
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lobo316



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After handling internal interviews last week for their vacant managerial position, the Atlanta Braves are set to talk to candidates from outside the organization.

The Braves will interview former Texas Rangers skipper Ron Washington and former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black later this week.

First base coach Eddie Perez, third base coach Bo Porter, bench coach Terry Pendleton, and interim manager Brian Snitker have already interviewed. Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Snitker remains the favorite.

Washington served as the Rangers' manager from 2007-2014 before his surprising resignation in which he cited personal reasons. He later admitted to having an affair and wanting to deal with his life at home. The 64-year-old is the third base coach for the Oakland Athletics, and owns a 664-611 record as a major-league manager. He also helped claim two AL pennants.

Black works in the Los Angeles Angels' front office and last managed in 2015. He spent nine years as the manager of the Padres - compiling a 649-713 record - before he was fired. The Washington Nationals expressed interest in the 2010 NL Manager of the Year prior to last season, though Black turned the offer down.

Atlanta's managerial spot has been vacant since May 17, when the club fired veteran skipper Fredi Gonzalez following a 9-28 start. Snitker took over in an interim capacity and guided the club to a 59-65 record.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 03:40 am
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lobo316



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The Barry Bonds era in Miami has reportedly come to an abrupt end.

Bonds, baseball's embattled home run king who was hired last offseason to mentor young boppers Giancarlo Stanton and Marcel Ozuna, will not return as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins, sources told Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball on Monday.

The move headlined a significant shakeup for the Marlins, who also let go of third-base coach Lenny Harris and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The Marlins (79-82) finished third in the NL East, missing the playoffs for the 13th straight season despite ranking second in their league with a .263 average in Bonds' only season as hitting coach.

Offensively, the club performed solidly this season, particularly Ozuna and Christian Yelich, who both enjoyed bounce-back campaigns under the tutelage of Bonds. On the surface, Bonds appeared to be a future mainstay in the Marlins' clubhouse, frequently shown on broadcasts laughing and encouraging the young Marlins players.

Reports out of Miami painted a less positive picture.

According to MLB Network Radio's Craig Mish, Bonds was called out this summer by manager Don Mattingly, who grew increasingly frustrated with a commitment level that had "dwindled." Bonds was reportedly also openly critical of Stanton, who "tuned out" the seven-time MVP according to Mish.

Bonds' dismissal was apparently made after owner Jeffrey Loria, believed to be his only ally in the organization, finally signed off on letting him go.

Monday's coaching shuffle follows an emotional week for the Marlins after the tragic death of All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident Sept. 25.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 06:33 pm
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srossi

 

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lobo316 wrote: The Barry Bonds era in Miami has reportedly come to an abrupt end.

Bonds, baseball's embattled home run king who was hired last offseason to mentor young boppers Giancarlo Stanton and Marcel Ozuna, will not return as hitting coach of the Miami Marlins, sources told Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball on Monday.

The move headlined a significant shakeup for the Marlins, who also let go of third-base coach Lenny Harris and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius, according to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The Marlins (79-82) finished third in the NL East, missing the playoffs for the 13th straight season despite ranking second in their league with a .263 average in Bonds' only season as hitting coach.

Offensively, the club performed solidly this season, particularly Ozuna and Christian Yelich, who both enjoyed bounce-back campaigns under the tutelage of Bonds. On the surface, Bonds appeared to be a future mainstay in the Marlins' clubhouse, frequently shown on broadcasts laughing and encouraging the young Marlins players.

Reports out of Miami painted a less positive picture.

According to MLB Network Radio's Craig Mish, Bonds was called out this summer by manager Don Mattingly, who grew increasingly frustrated with a commitment level that had "dwindled." Bonds was reportedly also openly critical of Stanton, who "tuned out" the seven-time MVP according to Mish.

Bonds' dismissal was apparently made after owner Jeffrey Loria, believed to be his only ally in the organization, finally signed off on letting him go.

Monday's coaching shuffle follows an emotional week for the Marlins after the tragic death of All-Star pitcher Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident Sept. 25.

Clearly an attitude issue, and I don't think anyone is surprised by this.  Superstar players rarely make good coaches as it is, and I certainly never saw Bonds as someone who would be good at this.  Miami was an awful team but their hitting wasn't really the biggest issue and someone more liked and committed in the clubhouse would've probably survived.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 06:39 pm
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Barry Bonds' short-lived stint as the Miami Marlins hitting coach was reportedly plagued by concerns over his work ethic, which grew the increasing ire of manager Don Mattingly as well as several players, sources told Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball.

Bonds was reportedly let go by the Marlins on Monday, one day after the team wrapped up its seventh straight losing season. Though the club has yet to confirm the move, multiple reports indicate third base coach Lenny Harris and bullpen coach Reid Cornelius were also dismissed in the end-of-season shakedown.

The Marlins' other hitting coach, Frank Menechino, will reportedly remain with the team, according to the report.

Sources told Heyman the Marlins prefer a more "traditional" hitting coach who studies game tape and works long hours. When asked several months ago to evaluate Bonds' first season on the job, Mattingly reportedly declined comment, tweeted the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson on Monday.

Under the tutelage of baseball's all-time home run king, the Marlins scored the fourth-fewest runs in the majors and ranked 27th in slugging. Though Bonds is credited with helping to revive the bats of young outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcel Ozuna - the pair combined for 44 homers this season compared to just 17 the year before - the embattled slugger was reportedly unable to connect with the team's high-priced bopper, Giancarlo Stanton.

Stanton, who missed several weeks with a serious groin injury, is said to have "tuned out" Bonds, who was reportedly openly critical of the Marlins All-Star right fielder, according to MLB Network Radio's Craig Mish.

Heyman reported Bonds was liked by several players, but staffers grew concerned he was putting in less time than the team's other coaches. The Marlins (79-82) finished third in the NL East, missing the playoffs for the 13th straight season.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 06:40 pm
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lobo316



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Moments after being fired from his position as Arizona Diamondbacks general manager, Dave Stewart offered a window into the apparent dysfunction inside the club's scuffling front office.

"It is what it is. It’s that side of the business. To be honest with you, I'm kind of relieved," Stewart told USA Today's Bob Nightengale. "Quite frankly, I've got better things to do."

Stewart received the news of his firing from Tony La Russa, who was familiar with the former pitcher from their days together in the Oakland Athletics organization. Following another disappointing season, in which the Diamondbacks lost 93 games, managing general partner Ken Kendrick made the final decision to dismiss both Stewart and manager Chip Hale on Monday.

"I don’t have anything bad to say about Ken Kendrick," said Stewart, who lasted just two seasons as the club's GM. "I’m not mad at this guy. He’s different. I’m different. Really, we were oil and water."

The Diamondbacks posted the sixth-worst winning percentage in all of baseball after an offseason that had many labeling them as contenders. Led by Stewart, the team signed starter Zack Greinke to a franchise-record $206-million contract and traded first overall pick Dansby Swanson and promising outfielder Ender Inciarte to Atlanta for Shelby Miller, a move panned by critics and rival teams.

"Everybody keeps talking about the Shelby Miller trade, but I made other trades too. We made plenty of other trades, too. I trusted my scouts. I valued their opinion. I was the one who ultimately made the decisions, and I’ll stand by that," Stewart said. "But you look at everything, and I feel like I did a pretty good job here. You may not know it for a couple of years, but you will."

In a statement released by the club, Kendrick hinted at more moves to come.

"We are still discussing what the appropriate role for Tony La Russa will be going forward," he said.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 06:42 pm
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lobo316



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Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is the recipient of the AL Player of the Month award for September, while Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman earned the honor in the National League, MLB announced Monday.

Cabrera finished the season on a tear as he fought to keep the Tigers in the thick of the playoff race, slashing .349/.439/.670 in September and two games in October. Though Detroit ultimately fell short in the postseason chase, his 10 home runs and 27 RBIs in the final month still earned him special mention.

On the pitchers' side, Boston Red Sox starter Rick Porcello and Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester earned the monthly award for the American and National Leagues, respectively. Porcello went 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 43 1/3 innings pitched, helping the Red Sox clinch the AL East, while Lester helped his own Cubs secure the NL East, going 5-1 in the month with a 1.48 ERA.

Oakland Athletics third baseman Ryon Healy was named the American League's best rookie over the final month of the season, while Washington Nationals center fielder Trea Turner took the honor in the Senior Circuit.

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 Posted: Tue Oct 4th, 2016 08:25 pm
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I'm gonna go ahead and call it a Karma-boomerang how the Tigers are sitting home watching David Price and Rick Porcello (BOS) and Max Scherzer (WASH) all pitching in the playoffs. What might have been for the Tigers!!

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 Posted: Wed Oct 5th, 2016 05:02 am
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chrob61 wrote: I'm gonna go ahead and call it a Karma-boomerang how the Tigers are sitting home watching David Price and Rick Porcello (BOS) and Max Scherzer (WASH) all pitching in the playoffs. What might have been for the Tigers!!

I often fantasize about the Jays rotation if they hadn't traded Syndergaard.
Syndergaard, Stroman, Sanchez, Happ, Estrada.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 5th, 2016 10:31 pm
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The Miami Marlins will return a pair of familiar faces in 2017, announcing Wednesday they've re-signed infielder Martin Prado to a three-year deal while exercising Ichiro Suzuki's $2-million team option.

Prado had an impressive second season with the Marlins, slashing .305/.359/.417 to go with 37 doubles in 153 games. The 32-year-old also emerged as a leader in the clubhouse, and Miami didn't hide its intentions of re-signing him long-term. Though financial terms weren't disclosed, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports the extension is worth $40 million.

Jon Heyman of Today's Knuckleball later added that Prado's extension will earn him $11.5 million in 2017, $13.5 million in 2018, and $15million in 2019, a considerable boost from his $11-million salary this season.

Suzuki is coming off a milestone year that saw him record the 3000th hit of his illustrious MLB career, becoming the 30th member to accomplish the feat. The 42-year-old slashed .291/.354/.376 in his age-42 season.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 01:09 am
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The Texas Rangers will open their best-of-five division series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Globe Life Park on Thursday with left-hander Cole Hamels on the mound, and will send right-hander Yu Darvish to the hill for Game 2, the club confirmed Wednesday.

Hamels, an All-Star for the fourth time in 2016, impressed in his first full season with Texas, authoring a 3.32 ERA (136 ERA+) with a 1.31 WHIP over 32 starts - none of which came against the Blue Jays.

In 11 seasons in the big leagues, the 32-year-old owns a 3.03 ERA with a 1.03 WHIP in 15 postseason starts, notching 91 strikeouts while allowing 11 home runs in 95 innings (1.04 per nine).

Darvish, meanwhile, made his triumphant return to the mound in May after missing the entire 2015 season following Tommy John surgery. Though he returned to the disabled list in June due to shoulder and neck issues, the 30-year-old ended up posting a 3.41 ERA (133 ERA+) in 17 starts while posting the second-highest strikeout rate (31.7 percent) among pitchers with at least 100 innings in 2016.

Since debuting with the Rangers four years ago, Darvish has made just one postseason start. He allowed three runs (two earned) over 6 2/3 innings en route to a 5-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles in the 2012 American League wild-card game.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 01:10 am
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Brad Ausmus is headed back for a fourth season as the Detroit Tigers' bench boss, as the club officially announced Wednesday it has exercised its 2017 option on the manager's contract.

"Brad was instrumental in leading the team through adversity and with the development of our younger players, particularly the young starting pitchers," executive vice president and general manager Al Avila said in a statement. "The team improved from last season, and under the leadership of Brad and his coaching staff, the ballclub kept fighting, and remained in contention for the postseason. Moving forward we want to build off that progress."

During his three seasons at the helm, the 47-year-old Ausmus compiled a 250-234 record, claimed a division title in 2013, and oversaw a 12-win improvement this past season.

Despite bouncing back from Detroit's last-place finish in 2015, Ausmus' job appeared in jeopardy after the club was eliminated from the wild-card chase on the final day of the season. The big-spending Tigers entered the 2016 campaign with high expectations after committing more than $200 million to free agents Justin Upton and Jordan Zimmermann, but were plagued by inconsistency and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.

Though the Tigers failed to make the postseason, Avila didn't believe that instinctively dropping a manager who's experienced success with the club was the way to move forward.

"Just cutting ties because you didn't get into the postseason doesn't make your team better, and isn't necessarily the right decision," he said in a conference call, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.

Ausmus, meanwhile, is ready to keep building on his young managerial career.

"I've gained experience over the three years I've been here, and just as players improve over time, I think managers improve," he told reporters.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 01:13 am
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Major League Baseball reported regular-season attendance Tuesday with a total paid attendance for 2016 of 73,159,044, or an average of 30,059 per game over 2,425 dates. This is the 11th highest-attended season in the history of the league according to Forbes.

The total is down less than one percent from 2015, when the league reached 73,760,020, though the drop is the largest year over year since 2013.

Four of the top five teams in 2016 are National League teams, and three of the five experienced a decline.
 
CLUB       TOTAL 2016    TOTAL 2015


Dodgers     3.70M            3.76M


Cardinals   3.44M            3.52M


Blue Jays   3.39M            2.79M


Giants       3.36M            3.37M


Cubs        3.23M             2.95M


Other notables from the tally:

Two cancelled games were not made up this season: Sept. 25 between the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins (the day Marlins' pitcher Jose Fernandez was tragically killed in a boating accident), and a rainout on Sept. 29 between the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers were eliminated from contention, therefore, the game was not rescheduled.


The Cincinnati Reds saw the largest decline: Approximately 6,486 in attendance per game, which equates to over half a million (525,421) for the season. In the American League, the wild card-bound Baltimore Orioles dropped 10% (just behind the non-contending Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics).


The American League's 166,907 overall increase is largely because of the Toronto Blue Jays. The New York Yankees have never not led attendance in the AL since 2002. The Blue Jays increased attendance by 21%, or 7,373 more per game than 2015.

Last edited on Thu Oct 6th, 2016 01:14 am by lobo316

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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 04:58 am
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lobo316



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NEW YORK -- San Francisco third baseman Eduardo Nunez was left off the roster for Wednesday night's NL wild-card game against the New York Mets, and the Giants opted to go with 11 pitchers.

Madison Bumgarner started for the Giants, and manager Bruce Bochy had 10 bullpen options: right-handers Santiago Casilla, Johnny Cueto, George Kontos, Derek Law, Sergio Romo, Jeff Samardzija and Hunter Strickland, and left-handers Javier Lopez, Steven Okert and Will Smith.

Cueto and Samardzija are usually starters.

"They're both fresh," Bochy explained. "Jeff has experience pitching out of the bullpen. I can use him anywhere. Johnny, he's one of the best pitchers in the game and he's fresh. It gives us another long man. ... So it just gives us coverage there."

"We just felt the pitcher was more important than a third catcher. So that's why they're on here," he added.

Giants pitchers Matt Cain and Jake Peavy weren't included on the 25-man roster.

Nunez, an AL All-Star this season with Minnesota, was acquired in a July 28 trade but hasn't played since Sept. 25 because of a strained right hamstring. He planned to test his leg during Tuesday's workout at Citi Field.

"He couldn't pass the test that we were hoping he could pass. That's running, sprinting. He's just not ready. So there's no point in putting him in harm's way," Bochy said. "We still thought maybe he could help out in some way, but it's just too much of a risk. He's not ready and he's not healthy enough to play."

Conor Gillaspie was in the starting lineup at third base.

New York went with an eight-man bullpen behind starter Noah Syndergaard: right-handers Bartolo Colon, Jeurys Familia, Robert Gsellman, Addison Reed, Hansel Robles and Fernando Salas, and left-handers Jerry Blevins and Josh Edgin. Colon, a starter, was effective in a bullpen role during the 2015 postseason and likely would start the Division Series opener at Chicago on Friday if the Mets advanced.

First baseman Lucas Duda, sidelined from May 20 to Sept. 18 by a stress fracture in his lower back, was left off the roster. He went 5 for 23 (.217) with two doubles and four RBI after returning.

James Loney, who filled in for Duda most of the season, was in the starting lineup at first base. Loney batted .265 with nine homers and 34 RBI in 100 games this year.

"Thought we'd play a guy that is certainly an outstanding defender for us, saved a lot of runs for us," manager Terry Collins said.


"I talked to Lucas about it. I know he worked very, very hard to get back and get ready, but this is an awful big challenge tonight for a guy that's just been back for 10 days. So I went with James."

Duda hit 57 home runs from 2014-15 and could have posed a power threat off the bench. But the Mets decided against that, too.

"With their bullpen, if Lucas Duda comes up, he's going to face a lefty. I know that," Collins said. "So we thought it would be better to have a guy who has versatility, switch-hitter, who gives you options."

Rookie reliever Josh Smoker also was passed over, in favor of fellow left-hander Josh Edgin.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 6th, 2016 04:59 am
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CLEVELAND -- Yan Gomes completed a comeback even he doubted was possible.

Given little chance to play in the postseason after breaking his right hand last month, Cleveland's catcher made the club's postseason roster and will play in the American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox.

It's an amazing recovery for Gomes, who was days away from returning to the lineup after missing two months with a separated right shoulder when he was hit was a pitch and broke his hand.

"It's been a roller coaster of emotions, man," Gomes said Wednesday. "I went from sitting in a hospital room with my hand broken, not going to lie, crying my eyes out because I'm not going to be part of the team. But then once I got my stuff together, I was like, `Ya know what, I can try to make a comeback,' got to play a couple games and to be put on the roster is pretty rewarding for me and I'm just going to try to do my best to help our team any way I can."

Gomes' hand isn't completely healed, but that's not going to stop him now, not with a chance to play in the postseason for the second time in his career.

"I'm just going to tape it as tight as we can and hopefully it stays together," he said. "But I can tell you, I'm going to give 100 percent every time."

When Gomes broke his hand on Sept. 14 while playing for Double-A Akron, it appeared his season was over.

Doctors told him it could take up to two months to heal, but after picking up a ball and throwing it, Gomes dedicated himself to doing everything he could to get back on the field.

"Once I first started throwing the ball around, I'm like, if I can flick it without noticing, it doesn't hurt as bad," he said. "The only thing was starting to hit. The first time I hit, it didn't feel very good. The second time, I saw some progress. This was three days after. The hand is still broken, there's still going to be some pain, but they told me, `Look, if you can tolerate it, it's not going to get any worse."

He returned to the lineup in the season's final week, but only played a few innings in the field.

But then, with an at-bat that seemed pulled from the script of a feel-good movie, Gomes connected for a home run on the first pitch he faced Sunday in Kansas City. The shot electrified his teammates, who have been pulling hard for him to get back.


"I'm really happy for him as an individual," Game 1 starter Trevor Bauer said. "Obviously he's going to help our team. There's no question about that. But just on a personal side, to have him be able to come back and be a part of something that he was a big part of all year and over the past couple of years that he's been here, it's really great to see for him."

Indians manager Terry Francona, who is carrying three catchers on his ALDS roster, isn't sure how much Gomes will play.

"I don't think it's probably fair to ask him to be a starting catcher and catch nine innings," he said. "I think what we'd usually try to do during the season, and try to do now, is take what the players do well, try to maximize that, which is certainly catching and throwing, knowledge of the staff, so we can use that. He's not limited there. And we can use that.

"If it grows into more, that would be good."

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 Posted: Fri Oct 7th, 2016 06:16 pm
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lobo316



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CLEVELAND - Boom! Bang! Pow! Nine pitches, three homers, one devastating inning.

Back in October's spotlight, the Cleveland Indians rocked Rick Porcello for three long balls in the third inning in their AL Division Series opener. Francisco Lindor's homer capped the rampage off the 22-game winner, and the Indians held on to beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Thursday night.

Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Robert Perez went deep in the third off Porcello, who lasted 4 1/3 innings in his shortest outing this year.

"We were up in the strike zone and they made us pay for it," Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Before a sea of red-towel waving, screaming fans, the Indians got a jump in the best-of-5 series against David Ortiz and the AL East champions.

Andrew Miller, acquired by Cleveland in a July trade for an October night like this, pitched two scoreless innings for the win. Summoned by manager Terry Francona earlier than usual, the lefty struck out Ortiz with two on to end the fifth and threw a season-high 40 pitches.

Bryan Shaw gave up a leadoff homer to Boston's Brock Holt in the eighth that made it 5-4 before Cody Allen struck out Xander Bogaerts with the potential tying run at third to end the inning. Boston put a runner on with two outs in the ninth but Allen fanned Dustin Pedroia on a full-count checked-swing, his 40th pitch, for the save. Pedroia was livid, and Farrell went onto the field to question plate umpire Brian Knight.

Pedroia fired his helmet in disgust on his way into the dugout.

"In real time, it's a borderline call," Farrell said. "Looking at it later, he swung."

Ortiz went 1 for 4 with a double in the first game of his final postseason.

Sandy Leon's homer pulled the Red Sox to 4-3 in the fifth. Francona, who won two World Series with the Red Sox before coming to Cleveland, pulled starter Trevor Bauer for Miller, who hadn't come in earlier than the sixth all season.

Miller gave up a double and walk before getting Ortiz to swing at a low third strike.

Francona extended both Miller and Allen knowing the importance of winning the opener.

"We wanted to win the game tonight and we did," he said. "Tomorrow might be a little bit different design."

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