Aug 14, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Joe Smith (38) celebrates with catcher Carlos Santana (41) after beating the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Indians won 9-8 in 12 innings. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Indians Win a Wild One in Minnesota, 9-8

In the immortal words of Lou Brown, “We won a game yesterday, if we win one today that’s two in a row. If we win one tomorrow that’s called a winning streak. It has happened before.”

With yesterday afternoon’s 9-8 win, the Indians have now won two games in a row and are threatening to go streaking. They also kept pace with the Tigers, even though that ship appears to have sailed, and pulled themselves within 3.5 games of a wild card spot in the American League.

The Twins didn’t go down without a fight, though. Led by Joe Mauer and his five hits, the Twins gave the Indians all they could handle and then some. By the time the second inning was over, the Twins had jumped out to a 4-0 lead and looked well on their way to defeating the Tribe yet again.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, it helped that Carlos Carrasco was once again unreliable in a starting role. In 4.1 innings of work, Carrasco allowed four runs on 10 hits. He did strike out four and managed not to walk anyone, but that didn’t stop the Twins from hitting him all over the park.

Luckily for Carrasco, the Indians offense showed up in full force on Wednesday afternoon. They were able to cut the Twins lead in half in the top of the fourth thanks to a two run single by Mike Aviles and then cut it to 4-3 when Michael Brantley singled to score Jason Kipnis.

Unfortunately, the Twins didn’t waste any time striking back offensively. In the bottom of the sixth, they were able to plate two more runs thanks to a two run single by Mauer off of Rich Hill. The Twins went up by a score of 6-3 at that point and looked to be regaining control of the situation. Things would get even further out of reach in the seventh when Chris Colabello drove in Josh Willingham with a single to center, making it 7-3.

It was at that point the Indians decided to make a comeback. By the time the eighth inning was over the Indians had tied things up at 7-7. An RBI single by Michael Brantley followed by Jason Giambi’s eighth home run of the season were the primary reason why. With the game all knotted up at seven all, things would remain unchanged while each team worked its way deeper and deeper into the other’s bullpen.

In the tenth, the Indians came close to ending things. Carlos Santana connected on his 14th home run of the season to make it an 8-7 game in favor of the Tribe. It wouldn’t last, though. In the following half-inning, Joe Mauer drilled his tenth home run of the season off of Chris Perez to tie things back up at 8-8. The blown save was Perez’s second in a little over a week.

The Indians would take the lead for good in the top half of the twelfth. Once again, Brantley proved how clutch he could be when the team so desperately needed a big play on offense. Of course, the little things players do to help seal a victory are just as important. In this case, Brantley was able to put the ball in play, scoring Nick Swisher from third on a sacrifice fly to center.

Joe Smith came on in the bottom of the twelfth to close out the victory and earn his second save of the season. Chris Perez took the victory after two innings of work. Ryan Pressly took the loss for the Twins. The Indians will head to Oakland to take on the A’s in a three game series starting on Friday.

Source: FanGraphs

The Good: The Indians once again showed some fight. After falling behind 4-0 and then 7-3 after clawing their way back into the game, they could have just as easily given up. This is especially true given how last week went and how poorly they have been playing. We also have to acknowledge Jason Giambi who once again demonstrated just how valuable his veteran presence can be on this team.

The Bad: Carlos Carrasco once again failed to impress in a starter’s role. How long must we endure the torture that is the false promise of his overwhelming potential?

The Huh?: Realistic question that was originally presented by our very own Ed Carroll. Which number will be greater: Number of home runs hit by Jason Giambi or number of victories for the Browns? As of right now, that number is set at eight thanks to Giambi’s most recent blast.

Tags: Carlos Carrasco Cleveland Indians Jason Giambi Michael Brantley Minnesota Twins

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