Another night, another dramatic win for the surging Indians. Now winners of six straight and sitting at a season-high ten games above the break-even mark.
Tonight’s lucky bat? Ryan Raburn, who was called to pinch-hit in the bottom of the eighth inning for last night’s hero, Jason Giambi. With Asdrubal Cabrera and Drew Stubbs in scoring position, Raburn went right up the middle off Sox reliever Matt Lindstrom, erasing every bit of unwarranted frustration in an otherwise trying evening.
Lonnie Chisenhall would follow with a single, and Yan Gomes would clean it all up with a two-run double for good measure.
White Sox rookie Andre Rienzo (7 INN/5 H/3 UER/6 SO/3 BB) sparkled in his Major League debut. The first Brazilian pitcher to ever pitch in the Bigs, the young hurler impressed with excellent control and an alien 12-6 curveball that completely baffled Tribe hitters. In fact, the only damage inflicted against Rienzo was every bit of fluky. Aided by a tough error by Alexi Ramirez, the Tribe went to work. A bases-loaded walk got the Indians on the board.
What happened afterwards had everyone holding their breath. As Michael Bourn was speeding down the line to beat out a double-play, Rienzo narrowly avoided getting seriously hurt in a fashion that wasn’t all that different than the Braves’ Tim Hudson’s broken ankle. The Tribe would score two on the groundout, tying the game in the process.
Scott Kazmir (5 INN/9 H/4 ER/3 SO) struggled early, but managed to get his bearings as the game wore on. But as I implied earlier, the Tribe dealt with some adversity that was mostly not of their doing.
Home-plate umpire Bob Davidson gifted the Sox a third run in the first, and Kazmir also appeared to have Paul Konerko struck out. Konerko would then reach in on an infield single that both Kazmir and Gomes misplayed. Of course, the gaffe came around to score. Davidson also squeezed Rich Hill in his appearance facing Adam Dunn, who had the big slugger clearly struck out (on strike three and four), but it’s not a baseball game these days unless the umpires get their TV time, too.
But the unsung hero tonight was Matt Albers, who settled the White Sox offense down by going 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Setting the stage for tonight’s party.
The bad news? The Tigers, Red Sox and Orioles all won, so no advancement in the standings tonight. But the Indians did their part.
The Tribe will try to clinch the series tomorrow as Corey Kluber goes for the Tribe. Jake Peavy, a big name in the rumors at the moment, is scheduled as of now to pitch for Chicago.
UPDATE: The Red Sox apparently have a deal in place for Peavy, so tomorrow’s starter for Chicago is TBA.
W: Bryan Shaw (2-2); L: Donnie Veal (1-2); S: Chris Perez (15)
Player of the Game: Andre Rienzo