Player of the Game
Michael Brantley played the hero twice tonight, first in the sixth inning to give the Indians the lead with a two run single, then later to extend it with a two run home run. The home run was his fifth on the season and was blasted deep into the seats in right-center. His two hits and four RBI gave him a POG score of 7.11, more than double the next best player in tonight's game.
A little further explanation of the roster move that was discussed in the series preview: The Indians sent down Carlos Carrasco to take advantage of the new MLB double header rule. The 26th man on the roster for a double header is not effected by the normal 10 day minimum spent in the minors after being sent down. This will allow Carrasco to pitch a game on Friday and still come back to make his next start in the rotation. In the meantime, T.J. House will be available for use as a long reliever out of the bullpen. This is a nice loophole found in the new rule by the Indians front office that will essentially allow the Indians to have a 26 man roster for almost 10 full days.
The Indians were finally able to come back against left handed starter, Zach Britton in the sixth inning and it all started with a Jason Kipnis double. Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley all hit safely as well before the first out was recorded and the Indians forced across three runs to take the lead before the inning was over.
Tonight was a fantastic pitching night for the Tribe all around and it all started with Ubaldo Jimenez. The Indians starter was only able to pitch into the sixth, but allowed just two runs on two solo home runs, despite working threw trouble all game. He struck out six in 5.1 before being relieved by Rich Hill. Hill, Bryan Shaw and Joe Smith combined to finish the next three innings without allowing a run. Vinnie Pestano closed the game out with a scoreless ninth and his fourth save of the season.
Milestone Alert: With his 69th career save, Joe Smith has now reached second all time in Indians history, tied with Rafael Perez. He is just 15 holds away from first all time, a point he will almost certainly reach within the next two seasons if Vinnie Pestano doesn't beat him there first.
Ubaldo was living dangerously early in the game, but outside of throwing a lot more pitches than should have been necessary, it didn't really hurt him. In the second after two were already out, he allowed a single and two walks to load the bases, but was able to force a foul out off Nate McClouth to keep the inning scoreless. The next inning a couple of singles looked like the start to a good inning for the Orioles, but a fly to shallow center and a strike out ended the inning with no damage done.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 5 – Baltimore Orioles 2