Mark Duncan, Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — Terry Francona's first series against his former team didn't go exactly as planned.
"I didn't enjoy this series much, but I'll never get tired of seeing people I care about — ever, Francona said after the Indians were swept by Boston with Thursday night's 6-3 loss.
Francona's reunion with the Red Sox was widely anticipated.
He managed in Boston for eight seasons and led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007. While Francona downplayed the series, many of his players knew the matchup meant more to their new manager than he cared to admit.
Instead, the Indians were outplayed in all three games. Cleveland was outscored 19-8 and takes a four-game losing streak into a series in Houston than begins Friday night.
"I don't have my analyst hat on anymore," said Francona worked in the television booth last season after being let go following Boston's collapse in 2011.
"I try to spend all my energy trying to get us going in the right direction. They did pretty much what they wanted to with us this series."
The Indians, who went 2-6 on their first homestand, open a 10-game trip as their struggling offense has scored nine runs in the losing streak.
"So now, we need to go on the road and try to find ways to win games," Francona said.
Although the Indians fell to 5-9, designated hitter Mark Reynolds sees no reason to worry.
"Guys in here have been around and know what to do," he said. "There's no press. Obviously, we're not where we want to be, but we're not in a bad spot. There's still a lot of baseball left. One five-game winning streak takes care of everything we've been through this homestand."
Zach McAllister (1-2) allowed three runs in five innings. The right-hander gave up a run in the second, but Mike Aviles' RBI groundout tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Reynolds led off with a double, took third on a fly ball and scored on Aviles' grounder to short.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia's two-out homer broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth. The line drive to right field landed in Boston's bullpen and came after McAllister struck out Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes to start the inning.
"Obviously, we want to win the series and at least get one," McAllister said. "It's disappointing, but it's on to the next one tomorrow."
Jon Lester (3-0) held the Indians to two runs and four hits in seven innings.
"He's just one of those guys you've gotta be patient with," Reynolds said. "You know he's going to be at the corners. You've gotta pick a spot and go with it. We really couldn't get that big inning against him."
Daniel Nava had two RBIs while Saltalamacchia, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Napoli and Mike Carp each drove in a run. Andrew Bailey pitched the ninth for his second save.
The Red Sox return home to play Kansas City on Friday night, their first game at Fenway Park since Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.
McAllister issued his first two walks of the season in the third to Pedro Ciriaco and Pedroia, but struck out Napoli to end the inning.
Napoli, who has a seven-game hitting streak, was 6 for 15 with six RBIs, three doubles, a triple and three runs scored in the series.
Bailey, who also saved Wednesday's game, retired all six batters he faced in the two appearances.
Cleveland added a run in the fifth on Drew Stubbs' groundout. Napoli, Nava and Carp had RBIs in the seventh. Carlos Santana had an RBI double in the eighth for Cleveland, but Koji Uehara struck out Nick Swisher with two on to end the threat.
NOTES: Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera was 1 for 4 on Thursday and is in a 5-for-42 skid. ... OF Michael Brantley struck out in his first three at-bats before getting a single in the eighth. ... Francona said 2B Jason Kipnis (sore left elbow) could return to the lineup Friday against Houston. Kipnis missed his fifth straight game Thursday. ... Francona said OF Michael Bourn (lacerated right index finger) is doing exercises to strengthen his hand. Bourn was placed on the 15-day DL on Wednesday. ... The Indians play at Houston, Chicago and Kansas City on their upcoming trip.
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