Every game isn’t an oil painting and this was especially true of the Cleveland Indians 11-8 victory over the Texas Rangers on the strength of a 3-run walk off home run by Ryan Raburn in the bottom of the 11th.
Bryan Shaw (1-2, 4.03 ERA) earned the victory as the Indians record improves to 54-48 on the year They remain 3 games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central after the Tigers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1.
After the Tribe’s bullpen failed to hold leads of 7-1 and 8-5 the game went into extra innings. Chris Perez worked the 9th and 10th innings and Bryan Shaw held the Rangers off the board in the top of the 11th.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana delivered back to back singles to open the bottom of the 11th to bring Ryan Raburn to the mound. Raburn did square to bunt but with the count in Raburns favor the bunt was taken off and Raburn responded by launching a walk off 3-run homer to the party deck in left field to give the Indians a 11-8 victory.
Corey Kluber started for the Indians and pitched very well delivering 6 innings allowing 4R/3ER on 7 hits striking out 3 and walking 1 and departed the game with the Indians leading 7-4 but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.
Nick Swisher opened the scoring with a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd and the Indians stretched the lead to 3-0 thanks to some shoddy defense by the Rangers in the bottom of the second.
After Michael Brantley reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a Mike Aviles single Rangers starter Martin Perez uncorked a wild pitch to advance both runners and then uncorked a second wild pitch to score Brantley and move Aviles to 3rd. Drew Stubbs drew a walk and was put in motion as Michael Bourn sent a grounder to 2nd that the Rangers were only able to get a force out and Aviles crossed home plate.
Kluber’s own defense cost him a run in the top of the 3rd. After walking Mitch Moreland to lead off the inning he made a nice stab on a smash back to the mound which should have been a double play ball but Kluber turned and threw the ball wildly allowing Moreland to move up to 3rd and Elvis Andrus to pull into 2nd.
Leonys Martin followed with a fly ball to Micheal Brantley who threw a strike to Carlos Santana who was unable to secure the ball as he and Moreland collided.
The Indians extended their lead to 7-1 on a 2-RBI single to right field that Nelson Cruz bobbled which allowed Stubbs to move up to 2nd base and Aviles up to 3rd base. The mistake cost the Rangers as Micheal Bourn delivered a 2-RBI single.
The Rangers starting cutting into the lead in the top of the 5th on an RBI single by Ian Kinsler and added two more runs in the top of the 6th.
Nelson Cruz opened the inning with a solo homer to cut the lead to 7-3 and with nobody out and runners on the corner Jeff Davis hit into a double play that plated Adrian Beltre to cut the lead to 7-4.
The Indians got one of the runs back in the bottom of the 6th on an RBI single by Asdrubal Cabrera but even a 4-run lead wasn’t safe.
Joe Smith came in to work the 8th inning and gave up a leadoff single to pinch hitter David Murphy and with 1-out hit Elvis Andrus with a pitch. Leonys Martin sacrificed both runners into scoring position but with 2-outs. Smith jumped ahead of Ian Kinsler 0-2 before Kinsler delivered a 2-RBI single on a a 92 mph slider to tie the game at 8-8.
- Corey Kluber with another quality start. He showed no ill effects of the hip issue that caused him to leave his previous start.
- The Indians offense delivered 18-hits including 3-hits apiece for Asdrubal Cabrera, Michael Brantley, and Mike Aviles.
- Chris Perez worked two scoreless innings (9th and 10th) allowing no base runners.
- Neither Cody Allen or Joe Smith were able to protect a 8-4 lead as Allen allowed 2-runs in the 7th inning before being replaced by Rich Hill and Joe Smith allowed 2-runs with 2-out in the 8th on an 0-2 pitch to Ian Kinsler.