Walkoff Homer Sends Tribe To Second Straight Loss; Twins 8, Indians 7
By Dave Roberts
The Indians were looking to guarantee at least a split series in this four game set against the Twins on a Sunday afternoon. The Tribe sent righty Corey Kluber to the mound against Esmerling Vasquez what followed was an excited game of continual offensive retaliation. Unfortunately, the Indians ended on the short end 8-7.
Tribe starters have had trouble recently going deep in games but thankfully with an eleven-man pen thanks to September call-ups they have not had to worry about running out of arms. This time around, Corey Kluber wasn’t able to break the trend. He breezed through the first two innings relatively easily and had an early 4-0 lead but then ran into trouble in the third inning. Jamey Carroll collected a single with one out, then Joe Mauer lined a ball to right field for a triple, and then set the stage for Justin Morneau who hit a two-run bomb to right field to make it 4-3 Tribe.
In the following inning things got rough right off the bat as the lead-off hitter Darin Mastroianni was safe on a Jason Kipnis error and then subsequently stole second and then advanced to third on a Kluber wild pitch. After retiring the next better, Pedro Florimon gets on with an infield single to the shortstop which then drove in Mastroianni, tying the game at 4. Florimon then stole second and then Ben Revere singled scoring Florimon, giving the Twins a 5-4 lead. The runners continued to go wild on the bases as Revere then stole second but Kluber was able to get the next batter out to close out his outing. Kluber’s final line was 3.2 innings allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits while striking out four. The lefty Chris Seddon came on relief to get the final out of the fourth and tossed a perfect fifth as well.
In the sixth inning, Esmil Rogers came out and pitched a 1-2-3 inning but ran into trouble in the seventh. Ben Revere led off the inning with a single and then subsequently stole second but was forced out at third on a fielder’s choice of the bat of Jamey Carroll. Then Joe Mauer doubled down the line-putting runners at second and third before an intentional walk of Justin Morneau. Acta then went back to the pen and called out Tony Sipp who was able to get Doumit to fly out for the second out. Then Chris Parmelee laced a two run single to right to put the Twins back ahead 7-5. The Indians went back to the pen one more time for Joe Smith who finished the seventh by striking out Mastroianni. Smith stayed on for the eight and worked a 1-2-3 inning keeping the game tied at seven.
Vinnie Pestano came out to work the bottom of the ninth and keep the game tied for extra innings but after getting two quick outs fell victim to Justin Morneau who blasted a walk off line drive home run to right field to seal the Twins victory 8-7.
On the offensive side of things, it was nice to see the Indians offense be productive. The scoring started in grand fashion as Carlos Santana hit a leadoff bomb to start the second inning off Vasquez. Then Brent Lillibridge with one out in the inning doubled to left then followed by walks to Donald and Marson. With the bases loaded Choo then drove in a run on a sac fly to right, and took advantage of a wild pitch for Donald to score from third, to make it 3-0 Tribe
In the third inning, Brantley led off with a walk then followed by a dribble down the line for a single by Santana. Russ Canzler then flew out to center, which subsequently advanced the runners to second and third. Brent Lillibridge then hit a sac-fly to center field scoring Brantley and putting the Indians up 4-0.
In the fifth inning with the Tribe down 5-4, they got back to business when Brantley collected a one out single, followed by a Carlos Santana double, which allowed Brantley to score tying the game back at 5. Then Canzler followed up by lining a single into left field that drove in Santana putting the Tribe back on top at 6-5. Fast forward to the eighth inning and the Tribe again trailed 7-6 but the offense came back yet again after a pitch hit Lillibridge, Jason Donald tripled to right field scoring Lillibridge and tying the game back at 7. The Tribe had a chance to get the lead in the night after a lead-off single by pinch-hitter Matt LaPorta but unfortunately the next three hitters were unable to get him home leaving the game tied at 7 before the Twins walk-off win in the bottom of the ninth.
The Indians will continue their road trip tomorrow night against the Twins at 8:10 in the rubber match of this four game series. Tomorrow’s matchup features Justin Masterson (11-12, 4.84) against Samuel Deduno (5-3, 3.66) as the Tribe looks to get back on the winning track.
Photo: AP Photo/Craig Lassig