Starting pitching was the Indians problem in their first two games. Justin Masterson changed that trend. In 7 innings of work he allowed 1 run on 7 hits. It was a great alternative to the poor pitching that was seen in the first two games.
The game had a slow start as the score was 1-0 entering the 6th inning. Even with this low scoring affair, the greatest play in the MLB this season occurred in the fourth inning. The Soxwere threatening with runners on first and second with no outs and Alexei Ramirez attempted a bunt. He popped it up to first, where Carlos Santana got the start, and Santana made a great diving catch on the bunt. He immediately got up and alertly through the ball to first where Orlando Cabrera was covering. Both runners stole on the pitch and had no chance of getting back. Orlando through the ball to Asdrubal at second and a triple play was converted. Santana’s great effort saved the possibility of the Sox having runners on second and third with only one out. It gave the Tribe momentum and helped spark them on the offensive end.
In the sixth, Orlando Cabrera hit a two run home run over the left field wall. Prior to this homer, Sox starter John Danks was cruising against the Indians. It seemed as if he would pitch a shutout, but things quickly changed. He was removed in the seventh and was replaced by Will Ohman. Ohman came in and gave up a walk to Jack Hannahan which was followed by a Lou Marson double, scoring Hannahan. Marson later advanced to third and scored off of an Asdrubal sac fly.
Tony Sipp came in for the Indians in the eighth and sent down the Sox in order. In the bottom half of the inning the Tribe added three more runs. Shelley Duncan made his first at bat of the season and hit a two run double scoring Hafner and Orlando Cabrera which pushed the lead to 6-1. Michael Brantley finished the scoring with a sac fly that made the score 7-1.
Chris Perez came in for the ninth and sent the Sox down in order. It was not a save situation, but Perez needed the work heading into the series against the Red Sox. The Red Sox were swept by the Rangers to start the season and will be in Cleveland Tuesday-Thursday.
Game Notes: The game saw the return of Omar Vizquel to Cleveland. He went 2-3 in the game but his first hit of the game held importance. He reached the 2800 hit plateau, which all fans in attendance were happy to see. Omar will remain a favorite in Cleveland no matter what team he plays for. He is turning 44 this month, and that is another accomplishment in itself.
The attendance was at a record low for the second game in a row. After a record low of 9853 fans in attendance on Saturday, the attendance of 8726 set a new low. I cut the fans a break today as the weather forecast called for rain throughout the day. Once the Indians prove themselves as a contender, the seats will fill up.