Roster Update: The Indians worst fears were realized today as Jason Kipnis was placed on the 15 day DL with a strained oblique. He will likely miss a full month and possibly as long as six weeks after considering rehab starts. His replacement on the 25 man roster will be Jose Ramirez, as predicted yesterday, although his replacement in the field tonight was Elliot Johnson.
Player of the Game
Many players had great games today, including Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana and Danny Salazar, but only one can be the Player of the Game. Today, that player was Michael Brantley, who leads the team in RBI and lead this game with three more. Brantley went 3-4 with two singles and a solo home run, giving him a team leading five home runs and 23 RBI. He also scored twice, giving him 15 runs on the year, which also leads the team. His final POG score was 7.22, while Santana came in a close second with 7.10.
It may have been the day off, it may have been the return to home and it may have been inspiration to step up for their injured teammate, but whatever the reason, the Indians finally put a crooked number on the board. Michael Bourn provided the first and third outs of the inning, but in between, the Tribe mashed out five hits and scored five runs. Mike Aviles started it with a single and a steal, before Nick Swisher walked. Carlos Santana brought home Aviles with a double, then Ryan Raburn scored both Santana and Swisher with a single of his own. Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Brantley each reached base safely as well and Yan Gomes finished things off with a two run double. Unbelievably, this was the first time the Indians had scored in the first inning at home this season.
Danny Salazar picked up his first win of the season today, following three losses in his last four starts. Tonight, he was only able to make it through five innings, due to a high pitch count, but was solid, allowing just three earned runs while striking out six. This makes two nice starts in a row for Salazar, who is beginning to look more like where he left off last season. Salazar did pitch to one batter in the sixth inning and Alexei Ramirez, who singled, ended up scoring on a Bryan Shaw wild pitch for Salazar’s third earned run allowed.
The Indians didn’t stop scoring after the first as Brantley and Santana each added solo home runs in addition to a pair of RBI doubles from Swisher and Gomes. Brantley added two more with a single and David Murphy (who was safe on an error after pinch hitting) scored on a wild pitch in the sixth as well. Their 12 runs total was the most since they scored 12 against the White Sox on April 12th, their most at home in any game this season and more than they scored in the last four games combined.
Despite coming off a six game losing streak, the Indians have actually won three games in a row at home and five of their last six. As a team, the Indians are only five games below .500 despite the six game losing streak. While they remain in last place, they are still just 5.5 games behind the first place Tigers and 2.5 games behind second place Kansas City.
Jose Ramirez was added to the roster today, but it was Elliot Johnson who stepping in for Kipnis at second base. In a banner day for the Indians offense, Johnson went 0-4 with two strike outs, including one with runners at second and third to make the second out in the five run first. Johnson also committed two errors on easy double play balls, leading to two unearned Chicago runs. The Indians still ended up turning three double plays, but only one of those came through Johnson. Johnson was the only Indians player to not reach base today including Murphy, who was safe on an error and walked in his two at bats.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 12 – Chicago White Sox 5
On Deck: Take two will take place tomorrow as rookie starter Scott Carroll, will oppose Indians’ ace, Justin Masterson at 6:05 PM in Cleveland.