BOSTON — Cleveland pitcher Zach Plesac threw the ball completely out of Fenway Park as the grounds crew began to bring out the tarp, and the Boston Red Sox ended a five-game losing streak by beating the Guardians 3-1 Monday night.
Alex Verdugo hit a tiebreaking double and Boston's bullpen worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings. The Red Sox are just 6-15 in July and remain only a half-game ahead of last-place Baltimore in the AL East.
José Ramírez drove in Cleveland's lone run with an infield hit. It was the third straight loss for the Guardians.
Yolmer Sánchez hit an RBI single in the third to put Boston ahead 1-0. Home plate umpire and crew chief Dan Iassogna then called for the grounds crew to roll out the tarp and Plesac fired the ball from near the mound over the third-base roof and out of the ballpark.
The game was delayed 38 minutes by rain.
Wearing their "city connect" yellow-and-powder blue uniforms, the Red Sox broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the sixth, chasing Plesac (2-8).
Verdugo doubled off the Green Monster and Rob Refsnyder raced home when the ball bounced over left fielder Steven Kwan back toward the infield as he fell to the ground trying to play the carom. Christian Vázquez added a bloop RBI single off reliever Trevor Stephan.
John Schreiber (3-1) got Myles Straw to ground out with two runners on to end the sixth before pitching the seventh. Garrett Whitlock got six outs for his second save.
Making his first start since July 15 because of the All-Star break, Plesac was charged with three runs in five-plus innings, allowing only three hits.
Boston starter Nick Pivetta gave up seven singles and one run over 5 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox will honor David Ortiz with a ceremony before Tuesday's game, two days after his enshrinement in the Hall of Fame.
Guardians manager Terry Francona, who managed the Red Sox from 2004-11, shared his thoughts on what made Ortiz special.
"You know what, the biggest thing from my side of it, I knew David before he was Big Papi. I don't think I ever referred to him as Big Papi. It was always David," he said. "You guys have been around him and you've seen when somebody comes into a room, he can light that room up with that smile, his personality. Some guys come to Boston and kind of shrink, he kind of brought his personality out."
Despite hot, muggy conditions with a "real feel" of 93 degrees, Guardians 1B Josh Naylor took grounders and BP wearing a winter hat with long sleeve sweatshirt.
When asked about it, he said: "I can't wear a hat without washing my hair first. I'm serious." He has flowing locks that come out under his baseball cap.
Naylor had the bat go flying out of his hands toward netting behind Boston's on-deck circle, forcing a bat boy to go scampering away.
Guardians: OF Oscar Gonzalez (10-day injured list, right intercostal strain) is slated to start a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Tuesday.
Red Sox: DH J.D. Martinez missed his fourth straight game with back spasms. … RHP Michael Wacha (IL, right shoulder inflammation) faced hitters. He said after that he's scheduled to do it again Saturday before going on a rehab assignment. … Trevor Story (IL, bruised right hand) took BP before the game.
Guardians: They're likely to use an opener Tuesday. Francona said it'll likely be RHP Bryan Shaw (4-2, 5.29 ERA).
Red Sox: Josh Winckowski (3-4, 4.38) is slated to start if he comes off the COVID IL.