Player of the Game
The Indians finally got the ace they have been looking for out of Justin Masterson. Although he was unable to make it out of the seventh inning, Masterson struck out nine in 6.1 and allowed just a single run (explained below). Masterson walked just two and allowed six hits, a far cry from the five walks allowed in his last appearance. Marc Rzepczynski allowed Masterson’s base runner to score in the seventh, taking away his chance at the win, but Masterson still was the best Indians player on the night with a POG score of 4.55.
Carlos Santana finally got a positive result after all the great at bats he had put out with nothing to say for it. In the sixth inning, he hit his first home run of the season, giving the Indians a 2-1 lead. Jason Kipnis scored from first after an infield single on the play that tripled his RBI total from the rest of the season.
Santana hasn’t been the only Indian struggling at the plate and he wasn’t the only one to break through today. Jason Kipnis came into the game batting .212 and put out his first three hit game of the season. While all hits were singles, the came at pivotal spots including one before Santana’s home run and another to put runners at second and third in the seventh. His average rose to .250 by the end of the game.
A wild pitch lead to the first run of the game in the fourth inning for the Blue Jays. After Colby Rasmus doubled with one out in the inning, Justin Masterson threw a pitch that never came close to catcher Yan Gomes. Brett Lawrie then hit a slow rolling ground ball to third that scored Rasmus. Carlos Santana attempted to bare hand the ground ball, but bobbled it and Lawrie was safe at first. While he would have likely been safe at first either way, a strike out and ground out to end the inning meant that without the wild pitch, Toronto would not have scored.
With a wild pick off throw in the seventh, Yan Gomes extended the Indians error streak to five games, leading to a league high 16 total. Usually solid defender, Yan Gomes, has been at fault more often than any other player for these offenses with five errors, two passed balls and eight wild pitches while he was behind the plate. His errors have been responsible for three unearned runs as well, more than any other player on the team.
While the bullpen has generally been solid this season, Rzepczynski and Cody Allen had their issues in that seventh inning in addition to the Gomes error. Zep gave up two singles and Masterson’s runner for the tying run, then Allen intentionally walked Jose Bautista and gave up a single to Edwin Encarnacion for the go ahead run. It was just the second blown save by the Indians this year.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Toronto Blue Jays 3
On Deck: Day baseball returns to Progressive Field with a 1:05 PM start time against the Blue Jays, featuring Corey Kluber and Mark Buehrle.