The Indians were riding a four game winning streak and looking for a sweep of the Twins on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, sometimes the best laid plans go to waste. The Indians were unable to overcome a rough outing by Carlos Carrasco, three runs in 4.2 innings of work, as the feisty Twins scrounged together a 5-3 win, escaping Cleveland having salvaged one of the three games this past weekend.
The Indians played from behind most of the day on Sunday. It’s a situation they have not performed well in this season and it showed once again on this day. In the top of the first inning, Josh Willingham singled to score Joe Mauer and put the Twins up 1-0. It was just the first of what was about to be many difficult innings on the day for Carrasco.
The Indians did strike back in the bottom of the second and third innings to take a brief lead. Yan Gomes hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring Mark Reynolds and tying things up at 1-1. Then in the following inning, Jason Kipnis continued his red-hot hitting with an RBI double to left to score Mike Aviles. The double put the Indians up by 2-1 and had everyone thinking that they were well on their way to their fifth straight win and the series sweep. It wasn’t meant to be.
The Twins took the lead back in the top of the fifth when Carlos Carrasco was unable to get the final out of the inning. After a single to Clete Thomas and walk to Mauer, Carrasco got the next two Twins out. However, Oswaldo Arcia singled with two outs to score Thomas and tie the game at 2-2. Trevor Plouffe followed with a single of his own to score Mauer and put Minnesota up 3-2. Carrasco was then relieved by Nick Hagadone who was able to end the inning and the threat.
Minnesota didn’t let their foot of the gas, though. They scored again in the top of the seventh and then a final time in the top of the ninth. The Indians did get a run back in the bottom of the eighth when Drew Stubbs connected for his sixth home run of the season but it wasn’t enough. The Twins shut down the Indians from that point forward and secure the win.
The Indians will look to get back on the winning track tonight as they travel to Baltimore to take on Chris Davis, Manny Machado, and the Baltimore Orioles for a four game series. Easier said than done. The Orioles are one of the best teams in baseball and have enough fire power to make life difficult for most pitching staffs. First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7:05 with Ubaldo Jimenez taking the mound against Zach Britton.
The Good: Jason Kipnis continued his hot hitting ways with an RBI double in the third inning and going 3 for 4 on the day. Since June 1, Kipnis is hitting a ridiculous .400 and is more than making up for the terrible start he had to the season.
The Bad: Carlos Carrasco’s lack of effectiveness following his superb performance in his last start against the Royals was a bit disheartening. Everyone was hoping that this was when Carrasco was finally going to turn the corner and become the pitcher we all think he can be. If Sunday’s start is any indication, we might have to keep waiting for the consistency to come.
The “Huh?”: Kevin Costner was in attendance on Sunday and made his way to the radio booth during the middle innings to talk with Jim Rosenhaus. While Costner is known for his baseball roles, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game, he was in town shooting a movie in which he is the GM of the Browns, meaning that he was essentially promoting a football movie during a baseball game. That was a bit odd even though it was a good conversation with plenty of quality baseball talk.