Indians squeeze by Red Sox 1-0 for 4th straight W

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CLEVELAND (AP) - While the Boston Red Sox got all the attention, the Cleveland Indians quietly went about their business at Progressive Field.

Winning business, in fact.

The Indians finished off a three-game sweep Thursday with a 1-0 victory, thanks to a suicide-squeeze bunt in the eighth inning and a heads-up defensive play in the ninth to end the game.

Cleveland outplayed the team favored by many to win the World Series throughout the series and extended its winning streak to four. While the Red Sox slipped to 0-6, the Indians have bounced back from two lopsided losses to begin the season as they start a West Coast trip Friday night in Seattle.

The Indians are in a three-way tie for first place in the AL Central with Kansas City and Chicago _ it’s early, of course, but it’s also the first time Cleveland has been in first place since May 17, 2008. The Indians are two games over .500 and hadn’t done that since Sept. 22, 2008.

“We did beat a very good ballclub _ regardless if they’re struggling or not,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “We won and it was a very well-played series. It wasn’t like they were sloppy and we got lucky. We played good baseball.”

The Red Sox have received national attention for their problems, but Acta is more focused on what his team is doing.

“It doesn’t matter who we play,” he said. “I know we’re playing a high-profile ballclub, a very good one, but I’m glad we’re done because they’re going to go off at any time and beat up on a lot of people. They’re very talented and we played pretty good against them _ our pitching did its part.”

Asdrubal Cabrera’s squeeze bunt produced the Indians‘ only run on a day when four pitchers held the Red Sox to four hits.

Fausto Carmona, bouncing back from a rocky start on Opening Day, held the Red Sox to two hits in seven innings. Rafael Perez (2-0) retired both batters he faced while Chris Perez recorded his second save of the series.

The game ended with an alert play by the Indians and a baserunning gaffe by the Red Sox.

David Ortiz drew a two-out walk in the Boston ninth and Darnell McDonald ran for him. J.D. Drew bounced a single that ricocheted off Chris Perez and went to third baseman Adam Everett.

McDonald rounded second base too far, fell down and tried to scramble back to the bag. Everett, who had come in to field the carom, made a snap throw to second baseman Orlando Cabrera that nailed McDonald.

Everett, a shortstop for most of his career, was making his first start of the season at a relatively new position.

“I had no play at first on J.D.” he said. “He (McDonald) came around the bag hard. I don’t know if I could have beaten him to third. I saw him slip a little. I don’t know if I even gave him a pump fake. I made the throw as quickly as I could.”

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