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Francona a winner in return to Fenway as Indians rout Red Sox

Skipper who led Boston to two World Series feted, before Indians roll to maintain spot atop AL Central.

TERRY FRANCONA should be glad the standing ovation came early in the game.

The former Red Sox manager, now managing the Cleveland Indians, got a video tribute and standing ovation after the first inning at Boston's Fenway Park.

Then the Tribe pounded the Red Sox.

Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds drove in three runs each and Cleveland had 16 hits - none of them a home run - in the Indians' 12-3 win over Boston last night.

In 8 years as Red Sox manager, Francona won two World Series championships. In his first year as Cleveland's manager, he has the Indians in first place in the AL Central after they went 68-94 last season.

They're 22-9 in their last 31 games.

Last night, his team gave him another pleasant Fenway memory. The 12 runs are the most scored by the Indians in the park since June 28, 2005, and the most they have scored there without a home run since 1953.

Zach McAllister (4-3) allowed three runs in five innings. He hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his nine starts this year.

Ryan Dempster (2-5) gave up four runs in three innings in his third straight poor start for Boston.

Every Cleveland starting batter had a hit and all except Jason Kipnis scored. Carlos Santana reached base five times with a single and four walks.

Francona was relaxed before the game.

"Being in a dugout or clubhouse, there's no place I'm more comfortable," Francona said. "Part of the reason I'm OK with this is I'm really proud of coming here with this hat on, this uniform."

In other AL games * 

At Kansas City, Mike Trout hit a home run estimated at 463 feet, longest of his career, and the Los Angeles Angels downed the Royals, 5-4. Albert Pujols, Chris Iannetta and Mark Trumbo also homered for the Angels.

* At Detroit, Prince Fielder's infield single drove in the winning run in the eighth inning as the Tigers beat Minnesota, 7-6. Detroit's Miguel Cabrera hit his 14th homer and drove in three runs to hike his RBI total to 55. Josh Willingham had two homers and four RBI for the Twins.

* At Toronto, Edwin Encarnacion hit his fifth career grand slam, J.P. Arencibia homered and drove in four runs and the Blue Jays beat the Orioles, 12-6. Baltimore's Chris Davis hit his major league-leading 15th home run.

In an NL game * 

At Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen had three hits and two RBI to lead the Pirates past the Chicago Cubs, 4-2, for their fourth straight win and 11th in 13 games.

Noteworthy * 

Dodgers president Stan Kasten came to the defense of Don Mattingly after the manager benched star rightfielder Andre Ethier and criticized the makeup and competitive spirit of the team, remarks that some observers thought were directed at the front office.

"I know what Don is trying to do, what his intention is," Kasten told "It's to light a fire, kick-start the team. He's trying everything he can think of. We're all behind him."

Mattingly, who is in the last year of his contract, had said: "There has to be a mixture of competitiveness. It's not, 'Let's put an All-Star team together and the All-Star team wins.' It's finding that balance of a team that has a little bit of grit and will fight you. And also having talent to go with it.

"All grit and no talent isn't going to make you successful. But all talent and no grit is not going to get you there, either."

* The Texas Rangers placed righthander Derek Lowe on unconditional release waivers and signed utility man Mark Teahen to a minor league contract.