Player of the Game
Nick Swisher reached base safely in three of five at bats tonight and was responsible for both the Indians runs. He scored the first run when he was able to score from first on a Carlos Santana single (and Josh Reddick error) and knocked in the second with a single in the seventh inning.
Things were going well for the Tribe even before the game started as the Royals swept a double header against Detroit, allowing just a single run to the Central Division leaders. This means the Indians would stand to gain at least a half game on the Tigers whether they won or lost tonight's game.
It just took an off day to get the Indians to lay back and be a little more patient. Everyone did a much better job than they have lately at going deep into the count, but Asdrubal Cabrera stuck out with just his second walk in his last ten games. Four other Indians walked against A.J. Griffin as they pushed the A's starter's pitch count up early, forcing him out by the sixth inning, despite allowing just a single run.
Justin Masterson was vastly superior compared to his previous two performances when he allowed 9 runs in 11.1 innings. Tonight, he did allow three runs, but pitched into the eighth and allowed just four hits before the seventh. In the end he allowed seven hits, striking out four.
The Indians played much better offensively than the A's tonight in every aspect except actually scoring runs. Despite 17 base runners, the Indians were only able to muster two runs. While they were very good at drawing the walk (nine total), none of these base runners came around to score.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Oakland Athletics 3