CLEVELAND -- In their first game after firing their pitching coach, the Cleveland Indians got one of the better-pitched games of the season from starter Ubaldo Jimenez.
The big right-hander struck out a season-high 10 batters in six innings Thursday as the Indians beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3. Cleveland, which snapped an 11-game losing streak Wednesday, has won in a row.
Jimenez, who came into the game with just one win since June 22, pitched six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and one walk.
"That was the most aggressive we've seen him, and with the best command of his fastball," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "He was dotting it on both sides of the plate."
Jimenez (9-11) had been 1-6 and a 6.55 ERA in his previous eight starts, but he struck out the side twice Thursday. His 10 strikeouts match the high for an Indians pitcher this season. Justin Masterson fanned 10 Toronto Blue Jays on opening day.
"He leads the league in walks, and we went in there thinking that," Boston manager Bobby Valentine said. "But he was throwing the ball on the outside corner, low and away."
Boston starter Felix Doubront (10-6) pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up four of the five Cleveland runs.
Leading 4-3, the Indians scored a run in the eighth inning when Jason Donald hit into a fielder's choice forceout at second base.
That gave closer Chris Perez a little more wiggle room in the ninth. Perez blew saves in each of his previous two appearances, both of which came during the team's losing streak.
Perez had a 40.50 ERA in those two games, but he retired the side in order Thursday to pick up his 30th savel.
After his two recent blown saves, Perez decided to change his look. He shaved his full beard and mustache, and he took the mound Thursday night clean-shaven.
"He looked very white," Acta said. "Maybe he needs some suntan lotion."
Donald, recalled from Class AAA Columbus earlier in the day, wasted no time in contributing. Leading off the bottom of the first inning, he hit Doubront's third pitch over the wall in right field for his first home run of the season.
Jimenez sailed through the first three innings, allowing one hit. However, Dustin Pedroia, making his first career start at DH, led off the fourth with a single, and he rode home on a towering home run into the seats in right field by Adrian Gonzalez, giving Boston a 2-1 lead.
Pedroia's RBI single in the fifth stretched the lead to 3-1, but Cleveland struck for three runs in the bottom half of the inning. RBI hits by Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana knocked Doubront from the game, and a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley gave the Indians a 4-3 lead after five.
Much of the damage inflicted on Doubront by Cleveland hitters came on fastballs.
"The fastball is my best pitch. It's hard when I don't have that pitch," he said.
Prior to the game, the Indians announced they had fired first-year pitching coach Scott Radinsky. The Indians ranked 13th in the American League with a 4.74 ERA and 12th in the league with a starters' ERA of 5.11.
"It's not a decision we arrived at lightly," general manager Chris Antonetti said. "It's something we spent considerable time talking through, but in the end we felt we had reached that point where we had to go in a different direction."
Triple-A pitching coach Ruben Niebla was named interim pitching coach.
NOTES: Perez is the fourth Indians reliever to have back-to-back 30 save seasons. The others to do it are Doug Jones, Jose Mesa, and Mike Jackson. ... The Indians placed DH Travis Hafner on the disabled list with a sore lower back. Donald, the roster replacement, started at second base in place of Jason Kipnis, who was a late scratch due to a stiff neck. ... Boston DH David Ortiz, on the DL since July 17 with a right Achilles strain, took batting practice and did some pregame agility work. He will run the bases Friday, and Valentine said he hopes Ortiz can be activated Sunday. ... Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey threw a scoreless inning Wednesday and another Thursday for Triple-A Pawtucket. Bailey, who had right thumb surgery late in spring training, is close to joining the Boston bullpen.
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