Player of the Game
Yan Gomes provided all the pop the Indians needed tonight as he won his eighth Player of the Game of the season during the Indians 89th win of the season. Gomes two run home run provided the difference early, but he wasn't done. He also hit singles in his next two at bats, leading to one more run scored.
The Indians showed the Twins the difference between a play-off contender and a fourth place team in the fourth inning. The Tribe scored three times that inning after a balk, an error and a huge home run by Yan Gomes. Each error the Twins made lead to the next as the balk allowed Ryan Raburn to take second, inducing Asdrubal Cabrera to sacrifice bunt. Chris Colabello missed the catch at first for the out, allowing Raburn to score and Cabrera to reach base safely. Gomes then took advantage of the confusion and hit a two run home run to left to give the Indians the 3-0 lead.
Bryan Shaw completed the starting pitcher's dream when he came in for Zach McAllister in the fifth. With two runners on, Ryan Doumit grounded into a double play on the first pitch, allowing Shaw to get two outs and strand two runners with ease.
Michael Brantley made his already high batting average with RISP and two outs even higher tonight, knocking in a run with a single and two outs in the sixth. His 24th such hit on the season brings his average to .364. In the American League he now ranks behind just Robinson Cano and Billy Butler in this clutch stat. This, along with another RBI later in the game, gave Brantley nine in his last five game.
Milestone Alert: Cody Allen pitched tonight (what else is new?), giving him 76 appearances this season, the second most in a single year in Indians history, tied with Sid Monge in 1979. He would have to pitch in every game for the rest of the year (which is unlikely) to match Bob Howry's team record of 79 games.
With the win, the Indians have now won seven in a row, 13 of 15 and 18 of their last 24. While this kind of success was at least slightly expected due to the poor quality of teams on the schedule, the Indians did what they needed to do by beating those teams. At just a game ahead of Texas coming into tonight's game, the Indians have needed every one of those wins.
Scoreboard Watch: When the Indians took over a Wild Card spot on September 21st both they and the Rays knew all they had to do was win out the rest of the year to make it to the post season. Both teams have done just that, including tonight when Tampa swept the Yankees and the Indians took their first game against Minnesota. Texas also won, keeping pressure on the Tribe to win out the rest of the season.
Chris Perez is determined to end his career in Cleveland in the worst way possible. After a blown save in his last appearance, Perez allowed four runs tonight in a non save situation, turning a blow out into a one run game. His final pitch went for a two run home run to Josmil Pinto, just the rookie's fourth career long ball. Luckily for the Indians, Joe Smith was able to come in and earn the save that never should have been.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 – Minnesota Twins 5