Maybe Russ Canzler was the missing piece all along.
Canzler went 3-4 with his first career home run on Friday night against the Twins, leading the Indians to their 4th win in the five games he’s played since being recalled on September 1. That’s just one less win than the Tribe had in the entire month of August.
Realistically, Canzler wasn’t going to make a difference. While he hit 22 home runs in Columbus, his .328 on-base percentage wouldn’t have translated well to the majors. But it is nice to see someone in the lineup finally get hot.
With the win, the Indians extended their lead over the Twins to three games. The Twins remain the only AL team with a worse record than the Tribe.
A few other notes on the game…
- Canzler is the first player with 8 hits in his first 5 games with the Tribe since Karim Garcia in 2001.
- Vinne Pestano picked up his 35th hold of the year, moving him into 6th place on the all-time list. Luke Gregerson holds the record with 40 for the 2010 Padres.
- Chris Perez picked up his 35th save for the second consecutive year. Mike Jackson (1998-99) and Jose Mesa (1995-96) are the only other Indians with 35 saves in back-to-back years.