Sunday’s win over Chicago gave the Cleveland Indians a rare road series win against a divisional opponent this year. As surprising as that is, the names of the players sparking the win might surprise fans even more. Chris Gimenez and Luis Valbuena hit back-to-back home runs in the 2nd inning to help spot fellow rookie pitcher David Huff a 3-0 lead. The home run by Valbuena was the first of his career. He later added another run in the 4th by bringing in Kelly Shoppach on a sacrifice fly to center.
Huff pitched five innings, matching the longest start of his short career. He struck out three and walked three while recording his first ever win. Huff allowed three earned runs, all of which scored on Alexei Ramirez’s 5th inning home run.
The lead was already safe however, thanks to back-to-back home runs by Victor Martinez and Shin-Soo Choo earlier in the inning. The game was not sealed until the unpredictable bullpen combination of Rafael Perez and Kerry Wood handcuffed Chicago hitters in the final two innings. The pair of relievers struck out four combined batters and didn’t allow a single hit.
Despite the inconsistencies throughout this season, Cleveland remains just seven games back of division leading Detroit. If the newcomers to the Indians roster can help the team maintain stability until some of the injured starters return, who knows what this team is capable of doing? Hopefully, this series victory over the White Sox offers fans a glimpse into the future.