6/26 Recap: Indians 4 – Orioles 3

Roster Update: Asdrubal Cabrera has finally recovered from his tight quad and returned to the lineup tonight. To make room on the 25 man roster, waste of space John McDonald was designated for assignment. This move, along with the return of Nick Swisher to the lineup gets the Indians back to the offensive look that the Indians have wanted since the beginning of the season.
Chris Perez is expected to be activated in time for tomorrow's game when he will return as the Indians closer, moving Vinnie Pestano and Joe Smith back to their normal positions.

Player of the Game

Scott Kazmir just came out and threw strikes tonight and it served him very well. He took a no hitter into the seventh inning and didn't allow an earned run all night. Only a mysterious injury kept Kazmir from completing the game and possibly earning the win as he threw just 78 pitches on the night. Kazmir only struck out four, but allowed just that single hit and one walk during the game.

Feathers Up

The first 19 batters in this game were retired in order until a phantom hit by pitch put Asdrubal Cabrera on first. Jason Kipnis came up next and hit a home run to left center field to give the Indians a 2-0 lead. Kazmir continued even longer than Jason Hammel, retiring the first 13 Orioles in order before walking Matt Weiters. He kept the no hitter going until a Manny Machado to lead off the seventh inning.

This game featured two throw-aways from the Tampa Bay Rays who were completely dominant tonight. Not just the Rays, but any team would be happy to have either pitcher if they could repeat the way they threw tonight all year long. It was disappointing to see a poor performance by each bullpen cost either pitcher the win.

The Indians had a little comeback in them again tonight as team speed helped them knock around Jim Johnson in the ninth. After Michael Brantley and Jason Giambi lead off the inning by getting on base, both Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs hit into fielders' choices to score two runs and take back the lead. The Stubbs play was particularly close and with one out, would have ended the inning if turned, but Stubbs has yet to be caught in a double play this season and that didn't change tonight. The blown save was just Johnson's fifth of the year after converting 27 already this season successfully. For comparison, the Indians have 13 saves as a team and 11 blown saves.

Feathers Down

There was an hour long rain delay prior to the game keeping Indians and Orioles fans from watching this great pitching match-up until after 8:00.

A throwing error attributed to Scott Kazmir (but created by a missed catch by Asdrubal Cabrera) cost the Indians a run (and Kazmir the shut out) in the seventh inning. Kazmir attempted a pick off play to get Machado out at second after he doubled, but the ball glanced off Cabrera's glove and into centerfield, allowing Machado to go to third. Once there, he easily scored on a Chris Davis sacrifice fly.

Defense cost the Tribe again in the 8th inning when a dropped ball by Nick Swisher on a throw from Lonnie Chisenhall started the inning off with a hit. J.J. Hardy was safe on the play and eventually scored the tying run on a Nick Markakis fielders' choice.

Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 – Baltimore Orioles 3

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since its inception in 2011. He also writes for The Outside Corner and the Comeback and hosts the Tribe Time Now podcast. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians. Follow on twitter @BurningRiverBB