Cleveland Indians shook off the schneid and beat the Minnesota Twins 6-2 Wednesday, ending their losing streak at 11. As Shelley Duncan put it, it’s not like they were going to lose 70 in a row. Of course, this was game 111, so that’d be impossible.
It’s a win though, and Cleveland did it the way they have all season, with Justin Masterson on the hill and the key guys making it all happen. Masterson was the dominant 2012 version—seven innings, three hits and two runs with four walks and seven strikeouts. Not the guy we saw last year, but against the Twins it’s more than enough.
Shin-Soo Choo found himself back in the cleanup spot and cleaned right up, going 4-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s. Only he and first baseman Casey Kotchman (2-for-4 with a run driven in) had multiple hits, but the Indians spread it out and beat up on Twins starter Brian Duensing with 11 hits in seven innings, with four of the six runs earned.
The Indians got it going early with Choo doubling to drive in Jason Kipnis, who’d walked. Then Carlos Santana came through, singling to bring in Choo. The second’s outcome was the same, but this time it was, Kotchman who singled and moved to second after Brent Lillibridge reached on a throwing error by Tsuyoshi Nishioka, then came came home on an Asdrubal Cabrera single. Choo singled to drive Lillibridge in and the score was 4-0.
Masterson’s sole blemish came in the top of the fifth. A walk to Brian Dozier brough up soft-hitting third baseman Alexi Casilla, who proceded to homer to right. Masterson took it in stride like an ace would and after a double to the next batter, Denard Span, he struck out two and induced a grounder to get out of the inning.
Shelley Duncan’s double to open the bottom of the sixth became a run after Ezequiel Carrera ran for him and moved to third on Lou Marson’s bunt, then scored on a fielder’s choice from Kotchman. Kotchman would score to make it 6-2 after Brent Lillibridge’s double got him to third and Kipnis hit a fly ball to center.
The Bad: Actually not that much—hits came from all over the lineup, the pitching was stellar, and the defense didn’t commit any errors. Masterson’s walks are always troubling, but that’s not what we should be worrying about after an 11-game slide.
Interesting Tidbits: The Indians’ losing streak began on July 27 with an 11-0 loss to the Twins. Alexi Casilla is now 8-for-23 against Justin Masterson with a homer.