BOSTON (AP) -Eric Gagne's decline from super closer to struggling reliever reached a new low.
He was charged with the first two runs in Cleveland's seven-run 11th inning as the Indians beat Boston 13-6 early Sunday morning to tie the AL championship series 1-1.
Javier Lopez and Jon Lester followed Gagne to the mound and did even worse, with Lopez allowing three runs and Lester two.
The Red Sox obtained Gagne at the trade deadline July 31 for just such occasions. He had 152 saves with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2002 through 2004 before injuries limited him to 16 games the next two seasons.
He was hurt early this season with Texas then started pitching well. So the Red Sox figured he'd add depth, particularly for the postseason, to an already solid bullpen.
But with Jonathan Papelbon starring as the closer, Gagne had to make the adjustment to a setup role.
He never did.
In 20 games with Boston he was 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA.
Then came the playoffs and his problems continued.
He allowed the only run in Boston's 9-1 win that gave the Red Sox a three-game sweep against the Los Angeles Angels in the AL division series. His next appearance came Friday night in another non-pressure role in Boston's 10-3 win over Cleveland. He struck out the side in a scoreless ninth after loading the bases on two hits and a walk.
In Game 2, manager Terry Francona was reluctant to use him. But his bullpen was getting depleted after Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, Mike Timlin and Papelbon allowed one run in 4 1-3 innings.
Then came the 11th and Francona had a choice - not a very good one.
Lopez had pitched poorly Friday and Lester had made just one relief appearance all season.
The obvious, if unappealing, option was Gagne.
He started well by striking out Casey Blake. Then Grady Sizemore singled to right and Asdrubal Cabrera walked.
Francona walked out of the dugout and signaled for Lopez.
With Gagne sitting in the dugout, looking straight ahead through his goggles, Lopez allowed Trot Nixon's tiebreaking single, walked Victor Martinez intentionally and gave up an RBI single to Ryan Garko.
Lester took over and allowed Johnny Peralta's RBI double and Franklin Gutierrez's three-run homer.
Gagne took the loss but had plenty of company in his misery.

Recent MLB Discussions

Top MLB Public Bets

#1 954 Atlanta Braves  75%
#3 964 Chicago Cubs  67%
#4 956 New York Mets  62%
#5 966 Seattle Mariners  58%

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Yankees Win Total Prediction Lacking in name power like it used to have, will the New York Yankees find a way to scale the AL East standings this season?
Thumbnail Mets Win Total Prediction After a playoff appearance in 2016, will the New York Mets find a way to improve on what they did this season?
Thumbnail MLB Player Futures: Home Run Leader It seems like only yesterday that the Chicago Cubs shattered their 71-year curse by winning the World Series over the Cleveland Indians in thrilling Game 7...
Thumbnail Twins Win Total Prediction Will the Minnesota Twins make any charge in the AL Central this season? Here’s our thoughts on their 2017 campaign.
Thumbnail Brewers Win Total Prediction Did the Milwaukee Brewers do enough this offseason to be competitive in the 2017 season?

MLB Team Pages