Off the schneid — Bogaerts homers twice, Red Sox beat Indians to halt rare three-game skid

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Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts points to teammates in the dugout after hitting a fourth-inning home run against the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox didn’t let a three-game skid dampen things. After all, nobody has been able to keep the AL East leaders down for longer than that this season.

Xander Bogaerts hit two solo homers, Andrew Benintendi had a three-run double to cap a big fourth inning and the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 10-4 on Wednesday night to halt their three-game skid.

“We struggled during the week, but that’s more like us,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.

Mitch Moreland added a two-run homer for the Red Sox, who lost the previous two nights in a matchup of AL division leaders. Boston is the only team in the majors without a four-game losing streak this season.

“You couldn’t tell if we won or lost yesterday after you waked in (to the clubhouse),” Moreland said. “That’s the beauty of this group. We know what we’ve got to do, we know what we’ve got in front of us and that’s all we focus on. We’ve been really good at it all year.”

Boston has the best record in the majors. Its only other three-game skid came in April.

Edwin Encarnacion hit a pair of two-run homers in his first game off the disabled list for Central-leading Cleveland. The Indians are 17-5 on the road since July 1 and 21-10 overall since the All-Star break.

Matt Barnes (5-3) pitched a hitless inning of relief and was credited with the victory after starter Brian Johnson was pulled with the Red Sox leading and one out in the fifth. Johnson gave up three runs.

Carlos Carrasco (15-7) was tagged for six runs, five earned, in 3 2/3 innings.

“They’re really good hitters and they use the whole field,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “That’s part of what they do. You’ve gotta make them at least think about (inside), because they just cover too much. He (Carrasco) was trying to, he just couldn’t get it there.”

Bogaerts tied it 2-all in the fourth by hitting his first shot completely out of Fenway Park over the Green Monster. The Red Sox took the lead with three singles on Carrasco’s next three pitches; Ian Kinsler, Brock Holt, and Blake Swihart’s RBI hit.

Following a walk to Mookie Betts, Benintendi sliced his liner down the left-field line, making it 6-2.

Moreland’s homer made it 8-4. Bogaerts hit his second one in the seventh.

Sidelined since Aug. 12 with a right wrist contusion, Encarnacion hit the third pitch he saw into the last row of Monster seats in the first. His second was a drive off a billboard above the Monster.

“I feel healthy and that’s good for me and for the team, because I know I can help this team to win games,” he said.

Carrasco had been on a roll, going 7-1 with a 1.73 ERA since coming off the disabled list July 6, but he fell to 1-3 with a 7.47 ERA in his career against Boston.

“They hit pretty good pitches,” he said. “That’s what happened.”

ADDING UP

Boston’s J.D. Martinez raised his major league-leading RBI total to 108 with two RBI singles.

HOT STARTS

The Indians hit their club-record 28th first-inning homer this season, breaking the mark of 27 set last year.

STAYING COOL

Cora joked before the game about calls he received regarding the team’s losing streak.

“I got a few phone calls from people around the league like, ‘Wow, three-game losing streak,’” he said. “(Houston manager) A.J. Hinch was one of them. He was laughing about it. We talked about it a little bit. The way I see it is if this is the second three-game losing streak for us, we’re in a good place.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Indians: Placed OF Rajai Davis on the 10-day disabled list with a non-life-threatening medical condition. He’s expected to have outpatient surgery Monday and return when rosters are expended on Sept. 1. … Francona said Leonys Martin will sit out the rest of the season. The outfielder had a life-threatening bacterial infection that entered his bloodstream and created toxins that damaged his internal organs, compromising their function.

Red Sox: Cora said C Christian Vazquez (DL, fractured right pinkie) might catch LHP Eduardo Rodriguez’s next rehab start on Monday at Double-A Portland.

UP NEXT

Indians: RHP Adam Plutko (4-3, 4.62) is slated to make his first career start against the Red Sox in the series finale Thursday afternoon.

Red Sox: LHP David Price (13-6, 3.69) looks to continue his recent success. He’s 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA since the All-Star break.

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