Player of the Game
Ubaldo Jimenez maintained his fiery status, striking out 10 in seven innings, while allowing just a single unearned run. While he did give up seven hits, only one went for extra bases and he didn't walk anybody, which was the real key to his success.
Asdrubal Cabrera turned a very sad looking at bat into a run in the second inning. After getting down in the count by feebly swinging at two balls, Cabrera connected with a strike that should have been thrown at least a few inches off the plate given the situation. The solo home run went deep into the right field stands and gave the Indians a one run lead.
Milestone Alert: Terry Francona went against the grain by starting September call-up Jose Ramirez at third base today, instead of Lonnie Chisenhall or Mike Aviles, but the rookie proved him right. In just his second Major League at bat, Ramirez hit an opposite field single. Most impressively, he skipped AAA entirely, but has had no problems mixing in the pro team, scoring two runs as a pinch runner and playing late inning defense before his first start today.
As if the hit wasn't enough, Ramirez then scored with almost no help, all the way from first base. Ramirez had been taking big leads all at bat, obviously effecting Ervin Santana. Drew Stubbs eventually grounded out to third, but Ramirez was running on the pitch and decided to try to take third base when Mike Moustakas threw the ball to first. Eric Hosmer made a poor throw back to third and Ramirez was able to scamper home, stealing a run for the Indians.
Ubaldo Jimenez has been pitching like a whole different animal of late, allowing just two walks in his last three starts and going at least six innings in his last four. Tonight he pitched seven innings and struck out 10, a feat he has accomplished in three of his last four starts.
Milestone Alert: With his 296th appearance, Joe Smith has become the 20th most used pitcher in Indians history, passing Doug Jones. If he is re-signed for next season, he could easily move into the top ten during 2014.
Cody Allen continued to struggle tonight, most likely from over use as he has already pitched in 67 games in his rookie year. Tonight he allowed a double and home run while retiring just one batter. Over his last three appearances he has allowed three doubles, two home runs and four total runs while just pitching 1.2 innings. With a 16 man bullpen, the Indians can afford to rest him for a few games after he has pitched eight times in the last 11 games.
Scoreboard Watch: The Orioles beat the Yankees in a match-up that directly affects the Wild Card race. Since the Indians want both teams to lose, it is fairly irrelevant who actually wins the series.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 4 – Kansas City Royals 3