The Indians stretched their home win streak to 12 games and their mastery of the Tigers to 10 straight games this season with a 5-3 victory over Detroit on Monday night/Tuesday morning.
For the first five or so hours after the scheduled game start, things looked rather gloomy for the Tribe and its fans. A sold-out crowd, ready to party, had to wait out a 2:21 rain delay before the first pitch was even thrown.
Then red-hot Cleveland starter Danny Salazar gave up two home runs in a single game for the first time this season. The first was a solo shot by Steven Moya in the fifth inning. The second was a two-run dinger in the sixth by Nick Castellanos. Suddenly, a 3-1 Tribe lead turned into a 3-3 tie in the sixth.
Adding to the frustration was that the Indians had big opportunities to score in the second with men on second and third and no outs, and in the fifth with bases loaded and one out — yet failed to push extra runs across.
Joyously, Mike Napoli came through with a huge clutch hit in the seventh — a two-run homer of his own that was an absolute bomb, landing halfway up the left field bleachers.
Napoli had already gotten the Tribe on the board in the second inning, leading off with a double and scoring on a single by Carlos Santana. The other two Indians runs were pushed across by sac flies from Francisco Lindor, scoring Rajai Davis from third base in both the third and fifth innings.
So the game didn’t end until nearly 1 a.m. Tuesday and this blogger has to report back to work in about seven hours. The bleary eyes will be much more worth it because some of the streaks I’ll be seeing are winning ones by our Indians.