Roster Update: For the third straight day, the Indians brought a pitcher up from AAA to start and this time it was Danny Salazar. Reliever C.C. Lee was sent down to make room, giving the Indians a much more typical eight man bullpen.
Player of the Game
Carlos Santana did it all tonight, reaching base via the smallest and largest ways possible. In his first at bat, Santana lead off the second with a double, then scored on David Murphy’s single. In his second at bat, he came to the plate with two outs, no one on and a giant shift towards the right side. After showing bunt and taking ball one, the Twins defense didn’t move and Santana bunted safely down the third base line. In his third at bat, the Twins kept the shift, but again Santana beat it again, this time by launching a ball almost out of the stadium to right field. This solo shot provided a necessary insurance run as the Tribe bullpen was less perfect than normal. In his final at bat, looking for the cycle, Santana hit his best shot down the line in right, but had to be happy with a stand up, RBI double, giving him a 4/5 night with 2 RBI, 2 runs and three extra base hits.
After scoring just three runs in last night’s game, the Indians put three on the board early tonight, taking the lead in the second. Carlos Santana started things off with a double, the Lonnie Chisenhall and Nick Swisher reached to load the bases. David Murphy came through with the one out, two RBI single, then Mike Aviles finished things off with a sacrifice fly a batter later.
The Indians lead looked a little shaky after the usually dependable Scott Atchison gave up a solo home run in the seventh inning, but the offense had a little something saved up for the ninth. Nick Swisher started the inning with a double to left, then Yan Gomes brought him home with a double of his own. Gomes moved to third on a Murphy ground ball, after which Jason Kipnis was intentionally walked and stole second. With two outs, Chris Dickerson hit a single to left and scored both runners. Dickerson then scored on Santana’s second double of the game to give the Indians a 8-2 lead. An added bonus with the extra runs was that Cody Allen, who was brought in to get the final out of the eighth, didn’t have to pitch the ninth, earning a hold instead of a save tonight.
Danny Salazar is still yet to fulfill his top prospect mantle at the Major Leagues and today he had some bad luck to go along with his normal struggles. Salazar had control problems early, walking the bases loaded in the second before striking out the side to get out of the inning with no damage. During the next two innings, Salazar gave up four hits, three of which were ground ball singles that could have been outs with better positioning or better fielders. After giving up the first run of the game in the fourth, however, he was able to come back and strike out Brian Dozier (who came into the at bat 7/10 against Salazar) to end the threat.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 8 – Minnesota Twins 2
On Deck: Two young stars will face off in the deciding game of this series as the Indians’ Trevor Bauer faces the Twins’ Kyle Gibson, tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 PM ET.