Player of the Game
A left handed starting pitcher lead Terry Francona to bat Yan Gomes fifth in the lineup for just the second time on the season, instead of his usual spot closer to the bottom. Gomes certainly came through, twice giving the Indians the lead in a tie game, first in the first, then later in the fifth. Overall, Gomes went 3-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored.
Facing Zach Britton, a left hander who hadn't pitched in the Majors in two months, the Indians loaded the bases in the first and scored four times to take the early lead. Indians hitters took advantage of the fact that Britton was just trying to get ahead early in the count with Jason Kipnis and Yan Gomes getting hits on fast balls within the first two pitches of the at bat after Michael Bourn reached on an infield single and Nick Swisher walked. With the bases loaded, Ryan Raburn then came through with a double in his first at bat since going on the DL and Mike Aviles added an RBI single as well.
The Indians bullpen was solid again tonight, stranding a runner left by starter Zach McAllister after which they allowed just a single runner for the rest of the game. In all, Bryan Shaw, Cody Allen, Joe Smith and Chris Perez combined to throw 4.1 innings and strike out four while not allowing a run.
Matt Carson has gotten into quite a few games already, mostly as a defensive replacement or pinch runner, but today he received just his second as an Indian and got his first hit with the team. The hit was his first Major League single since last October with Minnesota.
An absolutely terrible non-called strike three in the fifth extended the inning and eventually allowed Manny Machado to hit a three run home run to tie the game. McAllister threw a perfect fastball, right on the outside corner that was called a ball. Instead of ending the inning, McAllister was forced to throw a few more pitches that ended up being a wild pitch, a home run and a single before he was removed from the game. If the call had been made, McAllister would have likely pitched through the sixth and been ahead 4-1. Instead, he was removed with one out left in the fifth in a tie game.
Scoreboard Watch: Oakland decidedly won their series against Texas, tying the Rangers again for the AL West and Wild Card lead. With the Athletics seemingly unstoppable and the Rangers with a much more difficult upcoming schedule, it will likely be Texas that the Indians will have the base chance at unseating. The Yankees also won, en route to sweeping the White Sox.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 – Baltimore Orioles 4