Thanks to the efforts of Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis last night, the Indians squeaked past the Marlins 4-3. The win was crucial for two reasons. First, it helped wash away the memory of the 10-0 beat down from the night prior and also helped them keep pace with the Tigers in the Central division race.
In last night’s game, Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis combined to go 5 for 8 with three runs scored, three RBI, and three stolen baes between them. They certainly led the way and this was no more apparent than in the top of the third.
Already up 1-0 following an RBI single by Kipnis to bring him home in the first, Bourn reached base on an infield single to short stop Adeiny Hechavarria. It turned out to be the beginning of the full-speed display Bourn was about to put on. He proceeded to steal second, sped his way to third on a wild pitch, and then came around to score when Marlins catcher Rob Brantly made an ill-advised attempt to throw him out.
The Marlins came roaring back to tie things up in the bottom of the sixth. They managed to tie the game up off of Tribe starter Zach McAllister with a lead off single, double to deep left center and then a single to center. McAllister, in his third start back following a stint on the DL, allowed only those two runs in 5.1 innings of work. In fact, up until that point McAllister was in the middle of a no hit bid. Cody Allen would come on in relief to settle things down.
Tied at two, the Indians scored their final two runs of the game in the seventh. With the bases loaded and two out, Kipnis came to the plate looking to make something happen. And he did. Kipnis lined a single back up the box. Drew Stubbs and Bourn raced around the bases to put the Indians up 4-2. Or did they?
At first it appeared that Bourn may have been tagged out on a very close play at the plate. Marlins manager Mike Redmon believed that to be the case and came out to argue the call. Upon review it was apparent that Bourn slid past the tag of Rob Brantly by the narrowest of margins.
Chris Perez came on in the ninth to pick up his 16th save of the season, but not before making things a bit interesting. Perez allowed the Marlins to score a run before even recording an out. However, Perez would bear down and eventually pick up the coveted three outs to end the game and give the Indians the 4-3 victory.
The Good: Jason Kipnis and Michael Bourn led the way last night. Their offensive performances were exactly what the team needed following Friday night’s offensive shut down at the hands of Jose Fernandez. Zach McAllister also pitched well in his 5.1 innings of work.
The Bad: National League style baseball. Having grown up in an American League city with an American League team, I can honestly say I have no interest in watching pitchers hit. This is especially true watching American League pitchers who aren’t ever forced to hit in that situation.