Cabrera lifts Tribe to victory

CLEVELAND – For the first time this season, a national TV audience finally experienced the Indians’ late-inning karma.

Oddly enough, Cleveland’s manager watched it on the tube, too.

Asdrubal Cabrera’s two-out RBI double in the eighth inning – the latest big hit delivered by Cleveland’s shortstop – rallied the Indians to a slippery 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Monday night, another dramatic victory for a team that believes there is no deficit too big to overcome.

“We’re just going out and winning ballgames,” Indians starter Justin Masterson said. “It’s a different person every night. It’s been a lot of fun.”

With a steady rain falling, Cabrera, who went 5-for-5 with two homers and five RBI on Sunday, drove his double off reliever Daniel Bard (1-4) to the wall in left field, scoring Michael Brantley and helping the Indians win their fourth straight and improve to 19-4 at home.

The win was the Indians’ eighth in their last at-bat at home this season.

“It’s kind of what we do,” Masterson said with a shrug.

Cabrera, who was traded by Seattle to Cleveland in 2006 for Eduardo Perez, also homered in the fourth, and has nine hits in his last 11 at-bats.

Joe Smith (2-1) got one out in the eighth, and closer Chris Perez got out of a first-and-third situation in the ninth by getting Carl Crawford to bounce into a game-ending double play for his 13th save.

“Who would have thought that you would get a double play on Carl Crawford?” asked Indians manager Manny Acta, who had to watch the game on a TV adjacent to Cleveland’s dugout after being ejected in the eighth. “These guys always feel like they have a chance to win.”

Trailing 2-1 to Boston and starter Clay Buchholz, the Indians came up with another dose of late-inning magic.

They tied it when former Mariners player Jack Hannahan singled, pinch-runner Adam Everett moved up on a groundout and scored on Brantley’s two-out RBI single off Bard. The Indians then took the lead on Cabrera’s double.

Cleveland has continued to win despite missing two of its top players. Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner are on the disabled list.

“We have to scratch and claw and do everything we can until those two big guys are back,” Acta said. “We need to hang in there.”

The loss could have been doubly costly for the Red Sox, but the team got a positive report afterward on All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who injured his left foot in the eighth and had to come out.

Pedroia hurt the foot he had surgery on in September when he fell over second base while trying to go to third in the eighth. He was rounding second on Adrian Gonzalez’s single to right when he slipped on the wet base and fell awkwardly.