A Friday night with a game time temperature of 75-degrees, dollar dog night, and a 4-game winning streak probably had a lot to do with the approximate 5,000 walk-ups that drove the attendance to 20,200. The crowd was rewarded with a walk-off game winning double in the bottom of the 10th to extend the Cleveland Indians winning streak to 5 games in a row with a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Mike Aviles singled to begin the home half of the 10th and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by recently acquired outfielder Ezequiel Carrera to bring Drew Stubbs to the plate. Casey Fien missed on a changeup and fell behind 1-0 and tried to double up on the change up and Stubbs made him pay lining a double high off the wall in left field for the walk-off win.
Stubbs hit made a winner out of Chris Perez (1-0, 1.00 ERA) who had came into the game to work the top half of the 1oth. The victory improves the Indians record to 13-13. Casey Fien (1-2, 3.97 ERA) worked the final 1.2 innings and took the loss for the Twins and they see their record fall to 12-13.
It was only fitting that the bottom of the Indians order came through with the game winning rally as the 7-8-9 hitters combined to go 8 for 11 with 2 walks 5 runs scored and an RBI. Mike Aviles went 3 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored, Yan Gomes continued to impress going 1-2 with a walk and 2 runs scored, and Drew Stubbs went 4-5 with a run scored and the game winning RBI.
Justin Masterson started the game and had very little command of his arsenal early on but was able to limit the damage and work into the 7th inning. On the night he worked 6.2 innings allowing 5R/5ER on 8 hits striking out 5, walking 2, hitting a batter, and uncorked a wild pitch.
The Indians came back to tie the game at 2-2 on a Jason Kipnis triple that scored Yan Gomes who had singled and Drew Stubbs who had doubled. They increased their lead to 4-2 on in the bottom of the 5th inning on a long 2-run homer off the bat of Mark Reynolds.
The Tribe answered the Twins run with one of their to push their lead back to 2-runs at 5-3 by using the element of surprise. With Yan Gomes at 3rd and Drew Stubbs at second Twins pitcher Brian Duensing struck out Michael Brantley for the 2nd out. With a catcher running at 3rd and 2-outs in the inning Twins 3rd basemen Trevor Plouffe decided to play back. Maybe a little too far back and Jason Kipnis made him pay by laying down the perfect RBI bunt single.
An interesting development occurred in the 7th inning. Justin Masterson came out to work the 7th and immediately retired the first two hitters before giving up a 2-run single to Justin Morneau and brought Ryan Doumit to the plate. A passed ball moved Morneau to second but that passed ball changed the complexion of the whole inning and at the time possibly the game.
The Indians employ a defensive shift against Ryan Doumit when he is batting left handed. With the bases empty or a man on first the infield shifts toward right field with the shortstop on the right side of 2b and the 3b slides mans the normal shortstop position. If the runner advances to 2b, like Morneau did on the passed ball, then the 3b has to move back toward 3rd base to prevent an easy advance by the runner. Doumit worked the count full before sending a dribbler right through the hole vacated by Aviles and sparking many anti-shift comments on Twitter.
Here is where the Indians position the 3rd baseman against Doumit with a man on 1st (play resulted in a double play):
Later with a man at second Aviles has to move back toward 3rd base and Doumit hit the ball right in the hole created:
The anger of the shift was temporarily replaced by the questioning of why when Justin Masterson was replaced it was Cody Allen and not Joe Smith who would normally be brought in to protect a 1-run lead in the 7th inning. The second guessing was at a fever pitch when Chris Parmelee launched a 2-run homer to give the Twins a 6-5 lead. Cody Allen shook off the homer and retired the last batter of the 7th and worked a perfect 8th inning.
The Indians tied the game in the bottom of the 8th inning as the bottom of the order came through again. Mike Aviles led off the inning with a single and could have jogged around the bases had pinch hitter Jason Giambi‘s fly ball traveled just a few more feet. Instead he had to sprint from 1st to 3rd on a Drew Stubbs double. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire ordered Michael Brantley be intentionally walked to load the bases and set up the double play. Jason Kipnis delivered the groundball that Gardenhire hoped for but 2b Brian Dozier wasn’t able to handle it cleanly allowing the tying run to score.
- The offense continues to pound the baseball delivering another 13 hits.
- Mark Reynolds is now tied for the AL Lead in homers.
- Drew Stubbs had 4-hits including 3 doubles and his batting average has risen to .284.
- Mike Aviles had 3-hits and his batting average has risen to .286.
- Asdrubal Cabrera‘s 10-game hitting streak came to an end and twice failed to drive a runner in from 3rd and less than two.
- Ryan Raburn cooled off and was 0-5 on the evening.