On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins went to town on Indians starter Trevor Bauer, as the first five batters he faced each reached base safely and went on to score. That put the Indians in a 5-0 hole before a single out was recorded.
Fortunately, the Indians were able to bounce back, scoring seven unanswered runs to beat the Twins, 7-5. On Wednesday, the Indians returned the five-run favor. Granted, it took them longer to do it, as they scored their fifth run with no outs in the top of the ninth. But thanks to a solid, if short, outing from Indians starter T.J. House, combined with effective relief work from the Tribe bullpen, the Twins were unable to push across even a single run, giving the Indians a 5-0 victory over the feckless Twins.
House didn’t look like he had great stuff on Wednesday, especially early on. Five of the first ten Twins batters reached base via hits or the base on balls. But he was able to work his way out of trouble. In the fifth inning, House issued two walks, but once again managed to get through the inning unscathed. Tribe manager yanked House with one out in the sixth. Francona used four relievers—C.C. Lee, Scott Atchison, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Shaw—to close out the game. For Francona, this qualifies as a remarkable display of restraint, as he used no fewer than seven relievers in Tuesday’s game.
Zach Walters and Mike Aviles homered for the Indians, who banged out eleven hits. Each Indians batter got at least one hit, except for Michael Brantley. But that’s okay, Dr. Smooth. We still love you. You can make up for it by going 3 for 5 on Thursday!
The Indians have now won seven of their last nine games. They can sweep the Twins by winning the series finale on Thursday afternoon. And with Corey Kluber taking the mound, they have a very good chance of doing just that.