Player of the Game
Yan Gomes continued his hot streak when he homered in the eighth for the Indians only run of the night. It marked his third straight game with an RBI (four total and two home runs over that span) and pushed his hitting streak to 12 games. He added a double in the ninth, trying to get something started with two outs, but was stranded in the end. His 3.68 POG score gave him his fifth award on the season and second straight.
Despite consistently having the largest bullpen in baseball, Terry Francona can’t have enough long relievers and Nick Hagadone proved reliable in that role again tonight. For the third time in his last five appearances, he threw in more than one inning, this time throwing two scoreless after coming in for Salazar in the fifth. In that time, Hagadone allowed just a single hit and struck out four of his seven batters faced.
Ryan Raburn hadn’t played in the past four games, but it was his RBI hit that finally knocked Mat Latos out of tonight’s game. After Gomes’ home run, Mike Aviles walked in his first at bat, then Jason Kipnis singled for the third time. With two outs, Raburn then pinch hit for the pitcher and scored both runners from first and second with an opposite field gap double.
Prior to the game, Terry Francona announced that Josh Tomlin would be moved from the rotation into the bullpen, then, already down to four starters, Danny Salazar didn’t inspire much confidence that the Indians even had that many. The young starter was pulled for a pinch hitter before he pitched the fifth, but it was not a surprise after he gave up two home runs in the first four for five total runs. Both home runs came with two outs, the first on a terrible breaking ball with the pitcher on deck. This was likely another case of Salazar trying to do too much rather than just going for the easy out.
Michael Brantley looked a little lame on the bases early in the game, not running hard on two ground ball outs that he normally could have beaten. In the seventh, when the Indians used a double switch, they could have pulled the light hitting, poor defensive Nick Swisher from left field, but instead, took out Brantley, placing Mike Aviles in center. More news is necessary, but the unofficial, speculative observation is that he is dealing some kind of soreness in his legs.
In addition to the pitching problems, the Indians had no offensive support from their most dependable hitters. While they had chances, mostly due to Kipnis’ three hits, the Tribe’s starting three through six hitters went 0/15 with eight left on base. As the clean-up hitter, Carlos Santana was the worst offender, striking out once and stranding three in scoring position.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Cincinnati Reds 8
On Deck: The Battle for Ohio will conclude tomorrow night when the Reds and Indians complete their four game series in Cincinnati. T.J. House and Homer Bailey will start.