By Tom Withers
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND — The weather was a little warmer and the sun bathed Progressive Field, giving the ballpark a radiant glow on Opening Day Part II.
David Price, though, froze the Indians.
Boston’s new ace struck out 10 and Corey Kluber’s first start this season went the way of so many last year as David Ortiz hit a two-run homer and the Red Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 6-2 on Tuesday.
Kluber lost 16 games last season, when the Indians wasted so many of the right-hander’s performances because they didn’t hit or score. Cleveland’s lineup, missing injured outfielders Michael Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall, only managed five hits — four in the fourth inning — against Price and three relievers, who combined to retire 16 of the final 18.
Kluber wasn’t at his best, allowing four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He gave up a two-run homer to Mookie Betts and allowed another run to score on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Last year, the Indians scored two or fewer runs in 21 of Kluber’s 32 starts and they’ve already done it once in 2016.
The game-time temperature was 34 degrees, making it the coldest opener in the club’s 116-year history. Kluber, though, refused to blame the weather for his outing.
“I don’t think the conditions are an excuse,” he said. “Yeah, it was cold out there, but both teams dealt with it. You have to find a way to get it done.”
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor got two hits, but his teammates struck out 15 times. Cleveland’s worry in the offseason was its offense and new additions Rajai Davis, Mike Napoli, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd and Juan Uribe went a combined 1 of 15 with 12 strikeouts.
“It’s just another day that we didn’t put two and two together,” Lindor said. “But, it’s not going to be the last time of the season. We’re going to do it again. Hopefully, we don’t do it that many times.
“We’ll be fine. We’ve got a great group of guys and guys that work hard and compete pitch after pitch. It’s just today, we didn’t come out with a W.”
Yan Gomes hit an RBI single and Byrd had a sacrifice fly when the Indians tied it in the fourth.
Ortiz began his farewell season with a bang, connecting for his 504th homer in the ninth. Big Papi tied Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for 26th place on the career list. Ortiz also doubled.
Lindor was just 2 years old when Ortiz began his big-league career.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” he said. “I went over to second base and I told him, ‘This is your last one. Are you going to enjoy it?’ He said, ‘Yeah, man. I’m going to enjoy it. I’m going to have fun.’ He’s enjoying every at-bat, every pitch — like he always does.”
Monday’s opener was postponed before the gates opened as the wind chill dipped temperatures into the upper teens. It was warmer — 34 degrees — and sunny when Kluber fired his first pitch to Betts, but there also thousands of empty seats as many fans couldn’t afford to take a second day off work.
Lindor said the conditions were challenging.
“To be honest, the only time I felt it was when I rolled over my first at-bat. I couldn’t feel my fingers,” he said. “After that, I was fine. They were cold as well, so it’s not an excuse.”
Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, who grew up cheering on the Indians in Akron, Ohio, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. “I’m always nervous,” he said after delivering his pitch to former All-Star catcher Sandy Alomar. “I started getting stage fright a few years ago when we started playing to bigger crowds.” Carney said he’s only recently started throwing again after breaking his shoulder. “I used to have a decent arm, but now I have no control.”
Indians: Brantley (shoulder surgery) received one of the loudest ovations during pregame introductions. There’s no timetable on when he’ll be back. … Chisenhall (wrist) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday at Triple-A Columbus.
Red Sox: RHP Clay Buchholz, who started Boston’s opener in 2015, begins his 10th season with the Red Sox. He’s the longest-tenured member of the team’s staff. Buchholz went 7-7 last season, but made only 18 starts because of a strained elbow.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco will face the Red Sox for the first time since 2011. The 29-year-old finished last season with at least five strikeouts in 18 straight outings, the longest streak by a Cleveland pitcher since Hall of Famer Bob Feller did it 23 times in 1946.
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