Tribe Wins In Walkoff Fashion; Indians 7, Tigers 6
By David Roberts
The Indians took the field on this sunny Sunday afternoon in hopes to stop the sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers. The Tribe sent righty Ubaldo Jimenez (9-16, 5.52) to the mound against Rick Porcello (9-12, 4.59). What unfolded was a game where the Cleveland offense never lost hope and performed some late inning heroics in a last at bat victory 7-6.
The game got started in a rocky fashion as Andy Dirks singled with one out, followed by a Miguel Cabrera single. He then walked Delmon Young to load the bases with two outs, which set the stage for Brennan Boesch who singled up the middle driving in two runs. En route to throwing the ball to first, Jimenez was credited with a throwing error but was able to record the final out without any further damage.
The Indians made a threat of their own in the bottom of the first against Rick Porcello by loading the bases on walks but were unable to capitalize as with two outs Russ Canzler groundout to leave them loaded. The Tribe threatened again in the bottom of second with two outs Jack Hannahan doubled to center and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Again, the Tribe was unable to cash in as Choo struck out to leave the runner at third.
After a solid 1-2-3 second inning for Jimenez, he ran into trouble again in the third as Miguel Cabrera doubled to center and then walked Prince Fielder with one out. The next batter, Delmon Young, cashed in and shot an RBI single to right scoring Cabrera putting the Tigers up 3-0 before Jimenez got the final two outs to end the inning.
The Tribe finally was able to cash in offensively in the bottom of the fourth. Russ Canzler led off the inning with a single before Porcello retired the next two batters he faced. With two outs Hannahan collected his second double of the game putting runners at second and third for Choo who came through with a two-run bloop single to left the close the Tigers lead to only one.
Jimenez, managed to keep the Tiger’s bats silent the rest of the way through six innings including retiring the last eight batters he faced. Meanwhile the Tribe bats continued to function in the fifth with a leadoff single by Asdrubal Cabrera then Carlos Santana reached on a fielding error at second by Omar Infante. After Brantley ground out into a force-out at second, Russ Canzler singled to score Cabrera and tie the game at three.
Lonnie Chisenhall then stepped in and hit a groundball to short that forced out Canzler at second but scored Brantley putting the Tribe ahead 4-3. Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland came out to argue the calling safe of Chisenhall at first but was thrown out in the process. Casey Kotchman then singled off Porcello before he was pulled for Drew Smyly who then got Hannahan to strikeout for the final out of the inning.
The Indians offense kept in going in the sixth with two outs Cabrera singled and then stole second with Santana at the plate. Santana then singled down the third baseline to drive in Cabrera and put the Indians ahead 5-3. Santana then was caught stealing second with Brantley up to bat to end the inning.
In the seventh inning with the lead Acta went to Joe Smith who got the first out before running into trouble. With one out Infante shot a single to left before Smith recorded the second out of the inning on a strikeout. Andy Dirks then singled to left putting runners at first and second with two outs and Cabrera to plate. A familiar thing happened after that, Cabrera took a sinker from Smith and crushed a three-run bomb to left field putting the Tigers back on top 6-5. Fielder managed to get a single afterwards before Smith got Young to ground out and end the inning.
The game stayed pat through the next two innings as the Indians pitchers Vinnie Pestano and Esmil Rogers each worked a scoreless eighth and ninth respectively taking the game to the bottom of the ninth and brought out Tigers closer Jose Valverde for his third consecutive appearance against the Tribe.
The inning got off to a bang early with a leadoff double to center off the bat of Jason Kipnis. After a Cabrera flyout failed to advance the runner, Carlos Santana cashed in with an RBI triple to right field scoring Kipnis for the tying run. Valverde then intentionally walked Michael Brantley and Ezekiel Carrera, which set the stage for Lonnie Chisenhall to be the hero and lined a game winning single to center field giving the Tribe a victory 7-6.
Ubaldo Jimenez ends up with a no decision tonight but gave the Tribe a valiant effort going six innings allowing three runs, two of them earned, on five hits while striking out two and walking three. The win goes to Esmil Rogers (2-3) who tossed a scoreless ninth allowing one hit while striking out and walking one.
The Indians have an off day tomorrow before greeting the Minnesota Twins for their final meeting of the season at Progressive Field. Tuesday’s matchup pits David Huff (1-0, 0.00) in his first start of the season against P.J. Walters (2-4, 6.70) at 7:05 pm.
Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak