Player of the Game
Zach McAllister won his first Player of the Game in 2013 with a fantastic outing. He threw 7.2 innings and allowed just five hits, all singles. He shut out the Athletics with absolutely no margin for error as the Indians scored just a single run. As a team, the Indians have had eight straight positive games by their starting pitchers. This is especially impressive considering the fact that 9 of the Indians first 21 games resulted in negative scores for the starting pitcher. McAllister's POG score of 8.76 was the highest of any pitcher not named Justin Masterson.
Zach McAllister pitched what was, by far, the greatest game in his career so far tonight against Oakland. For the first time in his career, he allowed no runs in a start (he had two starts with no earned runs) and for the first time in 2013 he pitched into the 8th inning. A's starter Tommy Milone almost matched him, but was much less efficient, allowing five hits (in addition to the A's two errors) forcing him to throw more pitches and come out of the game earlier than McAllister.
The Indians did well in some categories tonight that are usually ignored statistically. Drew Stubbs and Jason Kipnis had above average games defensively, while Mike Aviles and Carlos Santana used good base running in the fifth inning to score in the Indians only run.
Jason Kipnis had two more hits tonight, giving him eight in his last five games. This mini hot streak has raised his season batting average from .189 on May 2nd to .229 today. It may not seem like much, but it seems his confidence at the plate has returned and it shouldn't be too much longer before he gets back up near his career average of .255.
Chris Perez finally earned a save as the Indians offense was kept in check by the Tommy Milone and the A's. His fourth save of the year was almost in jeopardy after a single, but Yan Gomes threw out Yoenis Cespedes trying to steal before Perez struck out Brandon Moss to end the game.
It's beginning to look like manager Terry Francona may prefer playing games with less than a 25 man roster. Lonnie Chisenhall has been intentionally benched for the past two games (don't worry, he's not hurt) so he can work out his swing with hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo. With the Indians offense playing hot, the team can afford to go without their starting third baseman for a couple games.
The Indians got runners to second to lead off the third through fifth innings, but were unable to score in the first two. Ryan Raburn doubled and was eventually stranded at third and Jason Kipnis doubled and was thrown out trying to steal third. The Indians finally got a single run across after Carlos Santana was safe on a two base error, was moved up on a Mike Aviles single and scored on a Yan Gomes sacrifice fly.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 1 – Oakland Athletics 0