For the first seven innings, it looked as if Josh Tomlin would join Justin Masterson with a record of 4-0. Tomlin had allowed no runs on five hits, while striking out four. He headed into the eighth win a 2 run cushion, but was pulled after walking a batter with one out.
The Indians scored both of their runs in the fifth inning off of two similar hits by Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo. They were similar in the way that they were nearly caught by a diving outfielder. Grady hit a bloop into center that fell in between the center fielder Melky Cabrera and two infielders. It scored Matt LaPorta to give the Indians the first run of the game. Choo hit a line drive to left field where Alex Gordon made a diving attempt. He trapped the ball, but it fooled Grady who was at second. Jack Hannahan scored, but Grady was thrown out trying to get to third.
The score was 2-0 when Tomlin was pulled in the eighth. He was replaced by Tony Sipp, who struggled on Wednesday. He continued his struggles as he walked Alex Gordon to put runners on the corners. He was then pulled in favor of Vinnie Pestano. Pestano also struggled as he walked a batter to load the bases. He then gave up a hit to Jeff Francoeur, which put the score at 2-1. Asdrubal made a great diving play to prevent the ball from going into the outfield, which would have allowed two runs to score.
In the ninth Chris Perez was called upon for the save. He already had 6 on the year, and it seemed that he would easily pick up his seventh. He quickly gave up a leadoff double to Kila Ka’aihue. The next batter, Mitch Maier, singled off a ball that Grady knocked down in center. This put runners at the corners with no outs. The next batter Alcides Escobar hit a sharp grounder to Jack Hannahan at third. Hannahan made the smart play and went home to get the out, while also keeping the Indians in the lead.
Chris Perez continued the bullpen’s new trend of walking a batter as he walked Chris Getz to load the bases. This automatically sent a flashback of Joe Borowski to my mind. Sure enough, the next batter Melky Cabrera hit a single that scored two and won the game.
It’s a shame that Josh Tomlin will get a no decision in this game. He pitched a great game, and I felt that he should have stayed in when he was pulled. However, at the same time I can side with Acta for pulling him because the bullpen has been lights out so far this year. In a 162 game season there will be nights such as Thursday.
The Indians will look to bounce back as they head to Minnesota for a 3 game series. They open the series tonight at 8:10.