Cleveland Indians' Mark Reynolds follows through on a two-run single during the third inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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BOSTON — Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds drove in three runs each and Cleveland had 16 hits in the Indians’ 12-3 win over the Boston Red Sox in manager Terry Francona’s return to Fenway Park on Thursday night.
Boston Red Sox' Jacoby Ellsbury, left, reaches down towards home plate as he is tagged out by Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes on a single by Dustin Pedroia during the third inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Thursday, May 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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Francona, let go by Boston after the 2011 season, got a standing ovation after the first inning during a video tribute on the center-field scoreboard. But he didn’t have to leave the visiting dugout during the game because all of Cleveland’s pitching changes came at the start of an inning.
In eight years as manager, Francona led the Red Sox to two World Series championships. In his first year as Cleveland’s manager, he has the Indians in first place in the AL Central after they went 68-94 last season.
They’re 22-9 in their last 31 games.
On Thursday, his team gave him another pleasant Fenway memory. The 12 runs are the most scored by the Indians in the park since June 28, 2005 and the most they scored there without a home run since 1953.
Zach McAllister (4-3) allowed three runs in five innings. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his nine starts this year.
Ryan Dempster (2-5) gave up four runs in three innings in his third straight poor start for Boston.
Every Cleveland starting batter had a hit and all except Jason Kipnis scored. Carlos Santana reached base five times with a single and four walks.
The Indians took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Stubbs and made it 4-0 in the third, scoring on a two-run single by Reynolds and a force play at second on a grounder by Mike Aviles.
The Red Sox cut that to 4-3 in the third on David Ortiz’s eighth homer of the season but wasted a chance for a bigger inning. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single and took second on a walk to Daniel Nava. Dustin Pedroia then singled, but Ellsbury was thrown out at the plate by center fielder Michael Bourn. Ortiz then hit the next pitch for his three-run homer.
Run-scoring singles by Asdrubal Cabrera in the fourth and Bourn in the fifth made it 6-3 before the Indians scored six runs when they sent 10 men to the plate in the sixth.
They loaded the bases with no outs on a walk to Cabrera, a single by Michael Brantley and a walk to Santana. Alex Wilson replaced Clayton Mortensen and gave up an RBI single to Reynolds. Yan Gomes followed with a two-run double after first baseman Mike Napoli dropped his foul pop for an error.
Aviles hit an infield pop for the first out, but Stubbs tripled in two runs and Bourn singled in another before Wilson struck out the next two batters.
Notes: Dempster had his shortest start of the season, lasting three innings. His previous shortest came in his prior start, 4 2-3 innings. ... The Indians recalled LHP Scott Barnes from Triple-A Columbus and designated LHP David Huff for assignment. ... Boston 3B Will Middlebrooks left the game in the top of the fifth with lower back spasms. He was called out on strikes on both his at bats before being replaced by Pedro Ciriaco. ... Cleveland’s Nick Swisher missed his third straight game while on the paternity list. ... Justin Masterson (7-2) pitches for the Indians against John Lackey (2-4) in the second game of the four-game series on Friday night.