Hey, guess what? The Indians are on a three game winning streak!
On a gorgeous day (FINALLY!) at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, the Indians wiped away the sting of John Axford’s Monday night extra-inning flub by storming back to take the next three against the Twins. Thanks to some timely hitting, the Indians finished the homestand with a 9-4 win that proved to be a lot more nerve-racking than you would’ve thought.
The Indians raced out to an early four-run lead against Kevin Correia (4.1 INN/8 H/4 R/ 5 SO/4 BB) thanks to a suddenly scorching Asdrubal Cabrera, who narrowly missed a the cycle in the ninth inning. Cabby finished the day with three RBI, including his second homer of the season in the second inning. (Maybe Ty VanBurkleo knows what he’s doing after all!)
The ever-consistent Michael Brantley continued his MVP-caliber season with another three-hit, three RBI day, including his sixth homer in the fifth. To continue the run of things of three, Mike Aviles chipped in with three hits. Three straight wins. EVERYTHING THREE.
Justin Masterson (6.1 INN/4 H/4 R (2 ER)/7 SO/4 BB) appeared to be complete control through the five innings. But then came the sixth. Let’s perform Chinese water torture on ourselves, shall we?
An error through Masterson’s legs. A walk. Wild pitch. Two batters later and with a chance to get out of the torturous inning, the defensive bugaboo that has plagued the Tribe all year reared its ugly, repulsive head again. With a dribbler scoring a run, Asdrubal Cabrera assumed incorrectly that Brian Dozier would stop at third even with two outs.
Of course, that didn’t happen. Two runs scored without the ball seeing the outfield. I just got a haircut the other day, so I didn’t have the hair to pull out at the moment. But it would’ve happened if I did. What appeared to be Smooth (pun intended) sailing was now officially a nail-biter as the Twins were instantly living up to their old Piranha monikers; just bleeding Masterson to death with little nibbles here and there.
But the Tribe wasn’t about to let their first three-game (THREE) streak slip through their fingers as they effectively put the game away with a three-run (EVERYTHING THREE!) seventh against sacrificial lamb Anthony Swarzak with an RBI double by Cabrera, an RBI single from a struggling Ryan Raburn and a Jason Kubel robbery sac-fly from Michael Bourn. That made the game 8-4, and Cabrera would add his second double in the ninth that scored the final run. Carlos Carrasco capped the day with a scoreless ninth.
And the Tigers lost finally, ending their eight game run, and allowing the Indians to claw back to 6.5 games behind. So all in all, a great homestand for the Indians!
W: Justin Masterson (2-0); L: Kevin Correia (1-4)