Santana’s 9th Inning Clutch Double Secures Series Win
The Indians have plenty to be excited about today. After sweeping the doubleheader in Detroit, they are now back in second place in the AL Central and only 4.5 games back of the Tigers for the division lead. Chris Dickerson hit his first two home runs as an Indian, Jason Kipnis walked three times, and the bullpen was sterling as usual, allowing only one run as the result of a defensive mistake.
Bottom of the 2nd, Game Tied 0-0
Zach McAllister struck J.D. Martinez out to start the inning, but Torii Hunter managed to get a weak single off of him immediately after. McAllister then showed some nerves as he uncorked a wild pitch that let Hunter move up to second, but got Don Kelly to fly out to center field for the second out. McAllister then completely unraveled, issuing walks to the number 8, 9 and 1 hitters (including 8 consecutive balls at one point) to push Hunter across the plate. Fortunately, Ian Kinsler fouled out to Lonnie Chisenhall to end what was a very messy inning.
Top of the 9th, Game Tied 2-2
Roberto Perez got his first major-league double, but the dangerous Chris Dickerson struck out looking. Jason Kipnis drew his third walk of the game. Perhaps considering a double steal, Terry Francona put Asdrubal Cabrera in as a pinch runner for Perez. Mike Aviles flied out to left. After a passed ball allowed Cabrera and Kipnis to move up a base each, pitcher Joe Nathan intentionally walked Michael Brantley in what would later seem like a poor move. Carlos Santana cleared the bases with a double, putting the Tribe up for good.
Chris Dickerson was already hitting over .400 for the Indians in his short stint so far, but now that he’s hit for some power he’s shown just about everything. And although Jason Kipnis went hitless he still reached base 3 times, showing a lot of patience at the plate. Michael Brantley had another pair of hits, and even rookie Roberto Perez joined the party with his double.
Although Zach McAllister was eventually able to get out of trouble, he gave us all a huge scare in the second inning. It seemed like we were about to see another one of those tragic meltdowns that got him sent back down to AAA. Walking in a gift run is never a good way to earn your way back to the bigs. David Murphy went 0-for-4, so whatever momentum he gained seems to have been lost just as quickly. And John Axford was pretty wild in the 6th, but no harm came out of it.
Check It Out
-The Indians have now gotten multi-homer games from a player in each of the past two days.
-George Kottaras, Jason Kipnis, Lonnie Chisenhall and Chris Dickerson have all homered for the Indians in consecutive at-bats this season.
-Because of roster management loopholes, Zach McAllister will be eligible to make his next start at the big-league level.
-The Indians have outscored Detroit 20-6 in the series so far.