Fister tosses 1 hitter, shuts down Cleveland

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Doug Fister delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Three pitches into his start, Doug Fister had a one-hitter.

Nearly three hours later, nothing changed.

Fister gave up a leadoff homer in the first inning to Francisco Lindor and then nothing else, finishing with a career-best one-hitter, and Eduardo Nunez had five RBIs as the Boston Red Sox rolled to a 9-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.

Fister (3-6) was facing Cleveland for the third time in four starts, and the right-hander took advantage of his familiarity with the Indians’ lineup. He allowed two walks and hit a batter, but was otherwise in control. Backed by two double plays, he pitched his first complete game since 2014 with Washington.

“When you think the third pitch goes out of the ballpark and from that point on, he throws nine no-hit innings, it’s an impressive outing,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “This night was Doug Fister. On a night when we needed a starter to go deep, he gave it to us.”

Jackie Bradley Jr. homered in the fifth off Carlos Carrasco (12-6) and Nunez connected for a two-run double in the seventh and a three-run homer in the eighth.

The AL East-leading Red Sox improved to 15-4 since July 31.

The game’s start was delayed 73 minutes because of rain.

It was a rough day all around for the Indians.

The club placed All-Star reliever Andrew Miller (knee tendinitis) and starter Danny Salazar (elbow) on the disabled list. Also, second baseman Jason Kipins left after one at-bat with tightness in his right hamstring. He recently spent a month on the DL with a strained hamstring.

Fister, who was claimed on waivers from the Los Angeles Angels in late June, pitched against Cleveland a week ago when the Indians swung by Fenway Park to play a makeup of a game postponed earlier this season.

He took a 1-0 lead to the mound in the first, but gave it back on his third pitch when Lindor hit his 21st homer, a towering shot to right. Fister, though, buckled down and handled the Indians with ease, only allowing one baserunner to reach second and retiring the final 14 batters in a row.

With two outs in the ninth, he retired Yandy Diaz on a deep fly to right that Mookie Betts caught at the wall.

“I was holding my breath,” Fister said. “It was kind of a sigh of relief when he caught it. I thought he was going to have to play it off the wall.”

Indians manager Terry Francona gave all the credit to Fister.

“He hung the breaking ball to Frankie,” Francona said. “And then after that, he kind of put on a clinic. He located his fastball with movement, changed speeds. When he did make a mistake, we didn’t hit it, which wasn’t often. He kind of went right through us. … He worked quick. He was efficient. He kind of pitched like you’re supposed to.”

Leading 3-1, the Red Sox gave Fister some insurance with a three-run seventh, highlighted by Nunez’s double. With two on, Nunez hit a shot high off the wall in left to score both Sandy Leon and Bradley, who injured his left thumb reaching around catcher Yan Gomes’ tag.

X-rays taken on Bradley were negative. He’s flying back to Boston on Wednesday for an MRI and could return in time for the game, but Farrell said it’s unlikely he’ll play.

 

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