Roster Update: C.C. Lee was added to the 26 man roster allowed for the second game of the double header. He will be sent back to Columbus after the game.
Player of the Game
Mike Aviles got the start at second base tonight with Jason Kipnis at DH and made the most of it, hitting the Indians’ first home run of 2014 and stealing the first base as well. Aviles home run provided the offense for the Tribe tonight, knocking in both of the Indians runs. His final POG score was 4.63.
The Indians finally had a replay decision go exactly the way they wanted when Mike Aviles was originally called out on a steal of second and Terry Francona challenged the play. Nick Punto never actually made the tag and replay confirmed this fact as Aviles was eventually called safe. This replay took significantly less time to decide than the one in the early game.
Marc Rzepczynski was dominant tonight and made up for the fact that the starter didn’t go five innings as he threw 2.1 without allowing a run. The one base runner he allowed was from an intentional walk and he retired that runner with a double play. This further cements the fact that Rzepczynski is not just a LOOGY, but is a fully capable reliever who can get out both right and left handed hitters.
It was a “Feathers Down” after the first game, but the Indians ninth inning scoring allowed them to come back in tonight’s game. Ryan Raburn and Nick Swisher lead off the inning with base hits before a single by Michael Brantley brought in two runs and a sac fly by David Murphy brought in another. This was the second time the Indians were able to take the lead against closer Jim Johnson in the series, as he left the field to boos once again.
The beginning of this game was very similar to the early game as Zach McAllister had trouble throwing strikes, a problem that lead to early Oakland runs. Unlike Kluber, however, McAllister was able to settle down and pitch a scoreless second inning after allowing two in the first.
Despite getting back on track after a rough start, McAllister was still only able to throw four innings after walking the first batter in the fifth. In the end, he allowed three runs on six hits and four walks and exited the game with just 86 pitches.
Milestone Death: Michael Brantley’s errorless streak was ended in the seventh inning when Ryan Raburn hit gloves with the center fielder. Brantley still holds the Indians record for consecutive errorless games by an outfielder with 247 straight games without an error. While the error was not entirely his fault, it eventually lead to an unearned run. Josh Donaldson, who reached on the error, went to third on a wild pitch by Bryan Shaw, then scored on a play that could have been called an error on the pitcher.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6 – Oakland Athletics 4
Up Next: The Indians have an off day tomorrow before they go to Cleveland for the home opener on Friday against the Twins.