It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy
—Ringo Starr, 1971
Thanks to a tenth-inning home run from Michael Brantley, the Indians snapped a four-game losing streak tonight by beating the Detroit Tigers, 5-4, at Progressive Field.
The Tribe was up 4-3 in the ninth, but Cody Allen gave up a one-out solo homer to pinch-hitter J. D. Martinez to tie the score. Allen bore down to get the final two outs in the inning. When the Indians failed to score in the ninth, the game went into extra innings. Scott Atchison came in to pitch the tenth inning and retired the Tigers on only eight pitches.
Al Alburquerque came out in the tenth for the Tigers and retired the first two Indians before Dr. Smooth sent Cleveland fans home happy by knocking a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall. Thanks to the blown save, he won’t get the win, but Corey Kluber did a great job of pitching for the Indians tonight, giving up three runs and eight hits over seven innings of work. He walked only two and struck out eight. Kluber has quietly become the best starting pitcher on the team this season. Tonight’s was his fourth consecutive quality start.
Besides Brantley, the offensive stars for the Tribe were Nick Swisher, who went 2 for 4 with an RBI; Yan Gomes, who went 3 for 4, and whose heads-up baserunning and hustle in the seventh inning got him from first to third on a routine single to left field; and Jesus Aguilar, who got his first hit in the majors in the fifth inning, and whose sacrifice fly scored Gomes from third in the seventh.
The much-needed win gives the Indians a 2-1 lead in head-to-head play with the Tigers this season. The two teams play again tomorrow at 7:05, and conclude this series with an afternoon game on Wednesday.
(The photo above courtesy https://twitter.com/crylenol/status/458647325012156416/photo/1. The title of this post is an affectionate dig at our Sweet Spot colleagues at Walkoff Woodward.)