The Cleveland Indians defeated the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, 5-2, behind a solid start from Zach McAllister. The win, only the Indians second in little over a week, allowed them to leap-frog the Royals back into second place. More importantly, the win allowed the Indians to gain a game on Tigers, who lost to the White Sox, 4-3.
McAllister was outstanding in the second game of this three games series. Over the course of six innings of work, McAllister allowed only two runs (one earned) to cross the plate on four hits and a walk. He also struck out seven Twins and had them guessing for the majority of the game. The win was only McAlliser’s fifth of the year as he continues to recover from a stint on the DL with a sprained finger.
Twins starter Samuel Deduno also turned in a solid start. Over the course of six innings of work, Deduno allowed five runs to score. And while he did only allow five hits, he also walked three batters and allowed one very costly home run.
The Indians scored their runs over the course of four straight innings. Trailing 1-0 after a Josh Willingham home run in the bottom of the second inning, the Indians got on the board in the top half of the third. With the bases loaded, Michael Bourn grounded out, allowing Ryan Raburn to score from third. In the top of the fourth inning, Michael Brantley delivered an RBI single to make it 2-1. In the top of the fifth the Indians scored yet again. This time, Jason Kipnis came through in the clutch with an RBI ground out. It was 3-1 Tribe and with how the game was going, it felt more and more like last night would be the Indians’ night.
In the top half of the sixth inning, Ryan Raburn came calling with his 14 home run of the season. The two run shot scored Carlos Santana and put the Indians up by a score of 5-1. From that point forward it would prove to be up to the bullpen to carry home the victory. They wouldn’t disappoint.
Over the course of the final three innings, Cody Allen, Joe Smith, and Chris Perez combined to throw three innings of solid relief work. That’s not to say it was simple. After all, the Twins did manage to score one final run in the ninth inning off of Chris Perez. No matter, Perez was able to settle down following the Justin Morneau single to bring home Joe Mauer. it wouldn’t be enough, though, as Perez would settle down and shut the door for his 19th save of the season.
The Good: It was encouraging to see McAllister pitch well. Since his return from injury he has struggled to really find his way. Hopefully, yesterday’s start is a sign of better things to come.
The Bad: Only four players had hits last night, and only one of them managed to record two (Yan Gomes). While the Indians were able to pull out the victory, five hits and more than a handful of 0-fors isn’t going to get the job done over the long run.