CLEVELAND — Josh Tomlin outpitched Josh Beckett, and the Indians came up with just enough timely hits to keep the AL East favorite Red Sox winless with a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
Tomlin tamed a star-studded Boston lineup that came in batting .200, and Tony Sipp pitched a perfect eighth before closer Chris Perez made things interesting in the ninth. He gave up a one-out single to Dustin Pedroia and a two-out walk to Kevin Youkilis before retiring David Ortiz on a liner to left for his first save.
Beckett couldn't stop the Red Sox from falling to 0-4, their worst start since opening 0-6 in 1996. They're tied with the defending AL East champion Rays at the bottom of the division.
Orlando Cabrera, Jack Hannahan and Carlos Santana drove in runs for Cleveland.
The crowd of 9,025, many of them Boston fans, was the smallest to see the Red Sox play since 2000.
Picked by many to win the pennant after adding All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez and former Ray Carl Crawford this winter, they were swept in three games to open the season in Texas, where the Rangers clubbed 11 homers and outscored Boston 26-11.
A trip to Cleveland to face the youthful Indians didn't help, at least initially.
With a gametime temperature of 42 degrees and dropping and a stiff wind blowing in off Lake Erie, several of the Red Sox snatched up long parkas and oversized mittens from a large duffel bag.
"I'm putting one of these in my locker right now," Crawford said before stashing a coat in his locker.
Boston fans were counting on Beckett, the one-time ace who struggled last season and again in spring training, to stop the skid.
The right-hander was making his first start in Cleveland since Game 5 of the 2007 ALCS, when he saved Boston's season by holding the Indians to five hits and striking out 11 in eight innings. The Red Sox rallied from a 3-1 deficit and won the series in seven, then added a World Series crown.
The Indians had one hit off Beckett for three innings before getting three and scoring twice in the fourth.