Real men wear pink, it turns out. Or at least real ballplayers. Sporting pink accessories to their home white uniforms in honor of breast cancer awareness on Mother’s Day, the Tribe finally put together a complete game for an impressive 8-2 win over the Twins. The victory allowed the Tribe to avoid the first sweep in Cleveland by the Twins since 1991. (Whew!)
The Indians players’ mommas surely can be proud of their sons on this day, when only the bookends of the game were less than ideal. Lead-off hitter Brian Dozier smacked a high fastball off the left field foul pole to tally an opening run against Tribe starter Danny Salazar. Then Salazar became the story of the day. He mowed down the next 21 batters in a row, tying his career high of 11 strikeouts in the process.
Cody Allen, in a non-save situation, gave up the only other run in the 9th. After recording the first two outs, Allen walked Torii Hunter (the only Twins player to not strike out at least once in the game). Hunter took second base uncontested. Joe Mauer singled to drive him home. In between Salazar and Allen, Zach McAllister struck out the side in the 8th after giving up a lead-off walk. Combined, the Indians pitchers struck out 16 while surrendering only two hits and two walks to generate the Twins’ two runs.
Offensively, the Tribe backed the great pitching and defense with a superb effort. Jason Kipnis continued to deliver the way lead-off hitters should, starting the game with a double, going 3 for 5 overall with a triple thrown in, and knocking in two runs. Carlos Santana went 2 for 4, with 3 RBIs. The Indians’ big inning was the fourth when they scored 5 runs, capped by Lonnie Chisenhall‘s 3-run homer. Oh, and right fielder David Murphy turned in a 4 for 4 day including a double.
After a day off tomorrow, the Tribe aims to carry this momentum forward. They’ll need to. The perennial contender St. Louis Cardinals — who started today with the best record in the Majors — come to town for a three-game series. Mother, help us!