After dropping the first two games of their series with the Twins on Friday and Saturday night, the Indians looked to salvage Sunday’s finale. Unlike the two night’s that preceded, they were able to get the job done on Sunday. With a 7-1 victory, the Tribe was able to get back on the winning track while also keeping pace with the Tigers, who also won on Sunday for the first time since the All-Star break.
Once again for the Indians, the star of the show was second baseman Jason Kipnis. In what has become a continuing trend, Kipnis continued his hot hitting ways on Sunday afternoon by going 2 for 4 with three RBI. Two of the three RBI cam on one swing in the top half of the third inning. Already up by a score of 1-0 thanks to a sacrifice fly by Mike Aviles, Kipnis stepped to the plate with Asdrubal Cabrera on second. On a 1-2 pitch, Kipnis drove the ball to the opposite field and watched it barely sail over the left field fence to put the Indians up by a score of 3-0.
That was all the help Justin Masterson would need. The big righty was dominant again on Sunday afternoon. In the end, Masterson pitched seven innings allowing only one run to cross the plate on one hit while striking out eight. In fact, he was so good on Sunday that he carried a no-hitter into the bottom half of the seventh inning. Brian Dozier led off with a double and eventually came around to score, but it was all the Twins would be able to put together on the afternoon.
The Indians plated runs 4, 5, and 6 on a bases loaded triple by the ever consistent Michael Brantley in the top half of the fifth. On an 0-1 pitch, Brantley lined the ball into the gap in right center. It then took a few bounces and then came to a rest right at the base of the wall. It allowed enough time for all three runners to race home and for Brantley to make it all the way to third. The Indians would then add their seventh and final run of the game in the top of the ninth when Kipnis struck again. With Aviles on third, Kipnis slapped a single to left to put the Tribe up 7-1.
Chris Perez came on to close things out in a non-save situation. It had been some time since Perez was able to get some work in so Sunday’s game was the perfect opportunity for Terry Francona to get his closer some work in. After a lead off double to Brian Dozier, Perez retired the next three hitters in order to end things and send the Tribe off to Seattle on a positive note.
The Good: Justin Masterson and Jason Kipnis. Masterson was spectacular in pitching a near no-hitter and Kipnis continued to swing a hot bat. Both of the Tribe’s All-Star representatives showed why they were all-stars. They fueled Sunday’s victory. Also, shout out to Michael Brantley who also played a huge role in Sunday’s victory with his three-run triple in the fifth.
The Bad: Mark Reynolds continued his slow and agonizingly painful decent towards the Mendoza line on Sunday. Reynolds took another 0 for 3 and in the process lowered his average to .213. Obviously these cold streaks were expected from Reynolds, but this is reaching the point of ridiculousness.