Tremendous Roster Update: Nyjer Morgan’s single inning of play last night has cost him a couple weeks as his right knee sprain lead to a trip to the 15 Day DL. While this is disappointing, it has lead to the biggest minor league call-up for the Tribe since Danny Salazar. After 79 career home runs and 407 RBI, Jesus Aguilar finally made his Major League debut, starting at DH against the Blue Jays tonight.
Player of the Game
David Murphy did one of the only things he didn’t do last night in his five hit, five RBI slug fest. He hit a home run. The solo shot in the fifth inning brought the Indians to within one run of Toronto. Murphy also didn’t have an infield single last night, be he added a slow roller down the first base line for a single as well. This was his second Player of the Game in a row and his team leading fifth on the season.
Milestone Alert: Juan Francisco didn’t get his glove down low enough on an Asdrubal Cabrera grounder down the line, giving the Indians their first hit of the game and Cabrera his 200th career double. This is an impressive feat, as only 23 other players have hit 200 doubles with the Indians, the last of whom was Jhonny Peralta.
In his debut, Jesus Aguilar had a couple RBI chances early, but didn’t get that first run across yet. He walked in his first at bat with Cabrera at second, then grounded to third to end the inning in the fourth with runners at first and second. In his final at bat, Cabrera was on second yet again, after a single and an error, but Aguilar struck out, leaving him there. Aguilar was removed for a pinch hitter, Lonnie Chisenhall, in the eighth inning.
Francisco made up for his poor defense in the second inning as he took Danny Salazar deep to left just two batters after Edwin Encarnacion took him out to right. A month into his second Major League season, the long ball looks to be Salazar’s biggest weakness as he has a tendency to leave fast balls up in the strike zone. Only five pitchers in the AL have allowed more home runs than Salazar’s eight. The second inning was rough for Salazar all around as he walked a batter and allowed a single, forcing him to throw 35 pitches after getting through the first with 13.
It wasn’t his worst start of the season, but the Indians could have used a little more out of Salazar tonight as the young star was only able to go four innings, giving up five hits and two walks. While his numbers didn’t look awful (both runs came on the home runs described earlier), his inability to get batters out early in the count forced a high pitch count and an early removal.
Terry Francona and John Gibbons decided they needed to see every single pitcher on their roster tonight as the Indians used six relievers for four innings and the Blue Jays used four for three. It wasn’t all up to the managers of course as the Indians first reliever, C.C. Lee, was unable to retire a batter, allowing a double and a home run that gave the Jays a three run lead. With the excessive over-managing and deep counts throughout the night, the game went long into the night, finally ending at 10:30.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 2 – Toronto Blue Jays 4
On Deck: Two aces will face off on Friday night in Cleveland as the Athletics and Sonny Gray come into town to take on the Tribe and Justin Masterson at 7:05 PM.