In many ways tonight’ game seemed like a play with three acts. Early on Indians starter Trevor Bauer and Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez were absolutely dominant. Neither team was able to mount any offense and it seemed as if whichever teams scored first would probably win the game.
Then came the second act of the game, which started in the bottom of the third inning. The Tigers loaded the bases with only one out in the inning, and Ian Kinsler then drove in Nick Castellanos with a sacrifice fly to center field. While Bauer was able to escape that inning without further damage. The Tigers were able to add to the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez both singled, and then Torii Hunter then doubled home Victor, while J.D. Martinez was thrown out at the plate. The Indians might have gotten out of that inning without further damage, but Hunter stole third, and then scored on a throwing error by Yan Gomes. All of a sudden the Tigers led 3-0 and that remained the score until the top of the seventh inning when the third act began.
And what a third act it was for the Tribe! Michael Brantley singled, Carlos Santana walked, and Lonnie Chisenhall hit another single to load the bases with nobody out. Nick Swisher then made it a 3-2 game with a two-run single to right-center field. Ryan Raburn then had an RBI double to tie the game at three with still no outs in the inning. That’s when the Indians took command. Jason Kipnis hit a three-run home run to right field, and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a solo shot to right to give the Indians a 7-3 lead control of the game. The Indians then added two more runs in the top of the ninth when Kipnis hit a solo home run and Swisher doubled to center to score Michael Brantley and make it a 9-3 game. While Detroit threatened with a pair of hits in the bottom of the ninth, Cody Allen shut the door and the Indians moved above .500 at 48-47.
There was a lot to like in this game for the Tribe. Trevor Bauer wasn’t great, but he kept the team in it and earned his fourth win of the season. The bullpen pitching of Scott Atchison, Byran Shaw, and Allen held a potent Tigers offense scoreless for the last three innings of the game. Nick Swisher continued his improved hitting in the month of July with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Michael Brantley continued his All-Star season with four hits in five at-bats to raise his batting average to .329. Finally, Jason Kipnis, who has scuffled a bit thus far, had arguably his best game of the year with a pair of home runs and four RBI. Throw in a solid game by Ryan Raburn, and there’s at least some reason for Indians fans to be optimistic that this is a team that is getting ready to make a run at the playoffs.