Cabrera Drives Tribe Past Oakland; Indians 7, Athletics 1
Mike Brandyberry | On 18, Aug 2013
Possibly a day late, but still better than never.
Asdrubal Cabrera, mired in a slump was inches away from driving in the game-tying run last night, but he may have broke out of his slump this evening. Cabrera had two hits, including two RBIs as part of a 7-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics. The win evens the series at a game apiece with the rubber match tomorrow afternoon. The struggling Tribe shortstop broke loose in the early innings before the rest of the offense did damage late.
The Indians took the lead quickly in the top of the second inning when Nick Swisher hit a solo home run to right center field on the second pitch of the game. Swisher’s 13th home run of the season gave the Indians a quick 1-0 lead. After Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley each walked, Cabrera singled down the right field line to plate Santana and stake the Tribe to a 2-0 lead before Oakland came to the plate.
Jimenez made short work of the Athletics through the first half of the game. His biggest nemesis was his own control. While not allowing a hit, Jimenez allowed two walks in both the third and fourth innings. He logged an unconventional 88 pitches in the first five innings.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Tribe tacked on another run. Brantley missed a home run by mere inches, settling for a double off the top of the right center field wall with just one out. Cabrera then followed with a double to the base of the same wall. The back-to-back doubles extended the Indians lead to 3-0.
Athletics starter Dan Straily (6-7) was able to strike out Jason Giambi, but was then relieved with a runner still in scoring position. He lasted just five and two-third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and four walks while striking out seven. Jerry Blevins got pinch-hitter Mike Aviles to ground out to end the inning.
Jimenez’s (9-7) lack of control lead to his dismissal in the sixth inning. With one out Josh Reddick was hit by a pitch and Yoenis Cespedes walked to put two on, with just one out. After Brandon Moss struck out swinging, Josh Donaldson singled to center field to score Reddick and cut Cleveland’s lead to 3-1.
It was Jimenez first hit allowed was to his last hitter. He lasted just five and two-thirds—like Straily—allowing the one hit and run, but walking five and striking out eight. Rich Hill came on and struck out Chris Young to end the inning without further damage.
Cleveland answered back in the top of the seventh when Michael Bourn jerked Blevins’ fastball down the right field line for a solo home run. Bourn’s fifth home run of the season gave the Tribe a 4-1 lead.
Bryan Shaw worked a scoreless seventh inning, followed by Joe Smith doing the same in the eighth inning. Smith had some drama, however, having to get Coco Crisp to pop out to left field with runners on the corners to end the inning.
Cleveland tacked on more offense in the top of the ninth inning off reliever Jesse Chavez. After Chavez retired the first two hitters, Stubbs and Bourn each singled to right field before Swisher’s second hit of the game brought around another run. Jason Kipnis followed with a single to plate Bourn and Swisher off Pat Neshek and the game was no longer in question.
Oakland mustered just three hits in the game. Matt Albers pitched the ninth in a non-save situation. Cleveland had 11 hits on the evening, including a pair from Stubbs, Brantley, Bourn, Swisher and Cabrera.
The two teams will play the final game of the three game series tomorrow afternoon. Scott Kazmir (7-5, 4.18) will pitch for Cleveland while Tommy Milone (9-9, 4.39) will make an emergency start for Bartolo Colon who was placed on the disabled list on Saturday.
Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images