Kipnis and Chisenhall Slam Tribe Past Twinkies; Indians 7, Twins 1
By Evan Matsumoto
The crisp Cleveland air wasn’t enough to cool off the Indians’ bats Friday night, as they notched a victory over the visiting Twins winning 7-1.
Starter, Derek Lowe, allowed five hits and only one run in 6.2 innings, was backed by an offense that scored seven runs on 14 hits and a defense that bested the Twins for the 11th time in their last 12 meetings.
The big right-hander, who celebrated his 39th birthday Friday, had another strong outing against Minnesota, recording two strikeouts and eleven ground-ball outs, including two double plays, through 108 pitches.
Cleveland’s offense provided run support in the second inning after a low Carlos Pavano pitch made its way from Lonnie Chisenhall’s bat to the right-field seats to put the Tribe up 2-0.
Chisenhall’s two-out, two-run homer, on an 0-2 pitch, sparked a welcome fire under the Tribe bats. Every starting player, except for Casey Kotchman, had a hit, capped by Jason Kipnis’ grand slam, the first for the club this season, in the bottom of the fourth to put the Indians up 7-0.
The Tribe only afforded Minnesota six hits, three of which came from catcher Ryan Doumit who went 3-4, and stranded nine Twins base runners.
Coming off a beating by the Chicago White Sox in his last start, Lowe took a two-hit shutout into the seventh before giving up his only earned run of the night.
“He had a good sinker today to both sides of the plate and they were 3-17 against him [all three hits coming from Ryan Doumit]. Early in the game he didn’t have very good command, he had control over command, and after that he got into a very good groove,” manager Manny Acta said.
Kipnis and mustached Chisenhall accounted for five hits, both of the game’s home runs, both of the game’s stolen bases and six of the Tribe’s seven runs overall.
“We’ve been talking about these kids being part of the future. Everybody was able to see what Kipnis is able to do. These guys are going to be the core of this ball club for years to come,” Acta said.
The 19,904 at Progressive Field on Friday witnessed the spirit of guests Carlos Baerga and Albert Belle’s Indians of the 1990s, even without sluggers Travis Hafner and Carlos Santana, who is expected to be back in the lineup in a few days after suffering a concussion.
Game two of the weekend home stand kicks off at 7:15 Saturday night, showcasing P.J. Walters (2-1, 2.96 ERA) for the Twins and Josh Tomlin (2-2, 4.99 ERA) on the bump for the Indians. Tomlin has a 4.99 ERA on the season.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images