CLEVELAND - In a season where nothing has gone right, the winless Boston Red Sox found a new way to lose yesterday.
A couple of them, in fact.
The Red Sox lost their sixth in a row when the Cleveland Indians squeezed home the only run in the eighth inning, then trapped pinch runner Darnell McDonald off second base for the final out in a 1-0 victory.
"It can't get any worse than this, and there's only one way to go," third baseman Kevin Youkilis said. "That's up."
At 0-6, the Red Sox are off to their worst start since 1945, when they lost a team-record eight straight. Boston, favored by many to win the World Series, returns to Fenway Park for its home opener today against the New York Yankees.
"The slate's not really clean," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "The record is what it is, but I don't want us to have a hangover. We need to pick it up. We're going to play a good team now. We haven't done a very good job to this point. I don't want us to be trying to win for this week because we can't do that."
Asked what type of reception he anticipates today in front of the Boston fans, Francona said, "I don't know. I've got more important things to worry about than how the hell they're going to clap."
Asdrubal Cabrera's suicide-squeeze bunt put the Indians ahead in their fourth straight win.
"We did beat a very good ballclub - regardless if they're struggling or not," 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."
After Cabrera's bunt, the game took another unusual twist for the Red Sox.
David Ortiz drew a two-out walk in the Boston ninth off Chris Perez, and McDonald ran for him. J.D. Drew bounced a single that ricocheted off 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 barely nailed McDonald.
"I'm not even sure, it might have been wet," McDonald said. "I lost my footing and tried to get back. I felt I might have got in there, but I guess I didn't. I was trying to make something happen, and it didn't work out."
Replays showed second base umpire Dan Iassogna's call was correct.
"He lost his footing and couldn't get back," Francona said. "He didn't try to do that. He just slipped."
Cleveland swept the three-game series, which came after Texas swept the Red Sox...