Roster Update: LHRP Colt Hynes, who was competing for a spot on the 25 man roster before being released at the end of March, has been traded to the Dodgers for Duke von Schamann. Von Schamann is a starting pitcher at the AA level and a Fantastic Four villain.
Player of the Game
Jason Kipnis broke through for the first time this season, knocking in three and scoring once on two hits. He played fine defense as well and was particularly busy early on with a couple double plays. The RBI were his first on the season and the double was his second. His final POG score was 5.37.
It is still very early in the season, but Michael Brantley has got off to a hot start and is the only player to have hits in each of the first six games of the season. Only four players have started all six games and Brantley is the only one of those players to be currently batting above .300 (.375). After his second inning single today, he scored on Yan Gomes two run home run, then he singled later in the game to score Jason Kipnis.
Down four, Jason Kipnis had a momentum changing hit in the bottom of the fourth. With the bases loaded and two out, Kipnis smashed a first pitch fast ball the other way and it bounced off the left field wall, easily scoring Mike Aviles and Nyjer Morgan. Luckily, the Twins had a short stop, Jason Bartlett, playing left field, so the ball ricocheted past him and Nick Swisher was able to score from first as well, decreasing the deficit to one run.
Justin Masterson has always had issues hittin batters, but today it came back to hurt him. Masterson hit batters in both the first and the second inning and Trevor Plouffe, who was hit in the back, came around to score. After the HBP in that second inning, Masterson gave up a single and a double for the first run, then a second run followed on a double play.
For the second day in a row, the usually spectacular Yan Gomes has hurt the Indians on defense. This time, Gomes picked up a Chris Colabello topper in front of the plate and immediately launched it to second for the double play. The problem was that no one was covering second yet and the ball rolled into center. Brian Dozier scored on the play and, instead of being out at second, Joe Mauer was safe at third. Eventually, both Mauer and Colabello would score, giving the Twins a 5-2 lead and Gomes would be credited with his second unearned run in as many days. Of course, if Gomes had been slightly more patient, they still could have turned the double play and saved all three runs.
In addition to the hit batters, Masterson had control problems all game, or at least the short time he was in it. Masterson only walked three, but went deep in counts often and was pulled after 97 pitches in the fourth inning. In all, he allowed five earned runs (six total) and struck out four, including each of his last two outs. The Twins final run scored was largely due to Masterson’s wildness as Brian Dozier walked to lead off the inning, stole second on a pitch that got away from Gomes and scored on a Colabello single.
In similar fashion to the Indians comeback powered by Kipnis’ three run double, the Twins returned the favor in the sixth. Against Blake Wood, the Twins used two walks (one intentional after Dozier stole another base) and a hit batter set up a three run double by Colabello. While it easy to pin the blame for the loss on Wood (and his was the official loser), almost every pitcher in the game struggled with the strike zone and seven of the ten Twins runs scored after the base runner was walked or hit by a pitch.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 7 – Minnesota Twins 10
Circling the Central: The Tigers were handed their first loss of the season, courtesy of Chris Tillman (8.1 IP, 1 ER) and the Baltimore Orioles while the White Sox scored late to beat the Royals on the road, 5-1.
Up Next: The Indians will stay in Cleveland as Corey Kluber will get another chance, against the Padres tomorrow night.