Player of the Game
Justin Masterson started off right where he left off against the Red Sox, striking out three in the first two innings, but was unable to maintain this throughout the game and was pulled after just 5.2 innings. Masterson allowed just five hits, but had poor timing, throwing a wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs to give up the first Rangers run, then giving up consecutive extra base hits in the sixth (his only two allowed in the game) for their second. In the end, two runs allowed in 5.2 innings was a pretty decent start, but it couldn’t compare to his 10 K’s in seven shut out innings last time around. He still pitched good enough for the win and was the top player in this game with a POG score of 3.18.
The bottom of the Indians line-up provided the spark to the offense today, which is not surprising as it contained Lonnie Chisenhall and David Murphy, two of the Tribe’s three most productive players. Chisenhall went 2-3 against the left handed Joe Saunders and scored two of the three Indians runs. The best rally was the one that knocked Saunders from the game in the sixth. Yan Gomes and Chisenhall lead things off by reaching base and Ryan Raburn brought home Gomes with a single, going to second on an error. Saunders left the game just before the Raburn at bat and his replacement, Shawn Tolleson, gave up a sacrifice fly to Murphy to give the Indians a two run lead before striking out Michael Bourn to end the inning.
A situation that has been occurring more often of late, Bryan Shaw pitched more than one inning while earning a hold. Marc Rzepczynski initially replaced Justin Masterson, getting the final out in the sixth, but it was Shaw who pitched both the seventh and the eighth, allowing just two base runners while striking out one. His final base runner allowed was Alexis Rios, who was essentially intentionally walked. Rios attempted to steal second and was called safe, but Terry Francona challenged and won, despite a cloud of dust that marred the view of the tag. It was just the fifth challenge overturned in the Indians favor this season out of 13 attempted.
Stellar defense by second baseman Rougned Odor helped keep the Indians from getting anything started early and even when they finally did, in the fifth, it was short lived. Lonnie Chisenhall, David Murphy and Michael Bourn loaded the bases with one out, looking to take a lead after trailing by a run. Asdrubal Cabrera came through with a single to left that scored Chisenhall to tie the game, but Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis each grounded out to end the inning without further damage.
The fore mentioned Odor was injured in the bottom of the sixth, joining the many already hurt on the Rangers. It was announced prior to the game that Mitch Moreland will have ankle surgery, forcing him to miss at least three months. While the Indians benefit from these players being out of the game and were able to get an easy out when Odor was hurt, it is terrible to see what is happening to the Rangers as a team.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Texas Rangers 2
Circling the Central: The Indians finally got back into second in the Central after the White Sox lost tonight and their eighth win in nine days will keep them there. This is the first time the Indians have been alone in second since April 10th and losses by the White Sox and Twins today will help keep them there.
On Deck: The Tribe and Rangers have one more left in Texas, 8:05 PM Monday night.