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Tribe Bats Fall Silent in Finale; Mets 2, Indians 1

Tribe Bats Fall Silent in Finale; Mets 2, Indians 1

| On 08, Sep 2013

It is common knowledge that the Indians have one of the easiest September schedules of any of the American League playoff contenders so this rubber match between the Mets and Indians was important. Unfortunately, the Tribe could not capitalize when the time called for it and the Mets were able to scrounge together enough hits to knock off the Indians 2-1.

The Indians sent righty Danny Salazar against Daisuke Matsuzaka for the Mets as the Tribe sought the sweep.

The Mets threatened early off Salazar when Daniel Murphy shot a single to right with one out. Josh Satin followed suit with another single to left but was cut down trying to advance to second on a beauty of a throw from Jason Kubel. Lucas Duda worked a two-out walk to put runners at the corners but Salazar managed to dance out of danger striking out Justin Turner to end the inning.

The only blemish on Salazar’s line was in the top of the fourth when Turner led off the inning with a solo shot to left field putting the Mets up 1-0. Otherwise Salazar carved his way through the Mets lineup while battling some control issues as he went four innings striking out eight and walking two.

Meanwhile the Indians early on couldn’t solve Matsuzaka as they managed to scratch out their first hit in the bottom of the fourth when Jason Giambi laced a single up the middle and then advanced to second when Jason Kipnis walked. But Matsuzaka managed to retire the side in order after to avoid any damage.

Matsuzaka finally proved to be human in the bottom of the sixth when with two outs, Kipnis lined a single to left, Carlos Santana followed that up with a walk, and Kubel hit a liner that deflected off Matsuzaka to load the bases.

That was it for Matsuzaka as manager Terry Collins went to the pen for reliever Vic Black who then subsequently helped the Indians out by hitting Asdrubal Cabrera to force in a run and tie the game at 1.  Any further damage was avoided though after Giambi grounded out.

After three innings of solid relief for the Indians, things got dicey in the eighth against Cody Allen as he immediately walked Eric Young and allowed a double to Murphy to put runners at second and third with nobody out. Allen managed to get Satin to ground out keeping the runners where they were.

Francona went to the pen for left-hander Rich Hill who issued a walk to Duda to load the bases and quickly got the hook in favor of Joe Smith. With bases loaded and one out Smith managed to get a big strikeout of Turner and a huge play by Swisher at first to keep the game tied.

It looked as if the Indians might get things going in the eighth when Nick Swisher drew a leadoff walk and then was substituted for a pinch runner in Jose Ramirez. The Mets went to the pen again for Pedro Feliciano who struck out Kipnis for the first out but then allowed a single to Santana before being pulled for Frank Francisco. Yan Gomes stepped in pinch-hitting for Kubel and drew another walk to load the bases. With the bases loaded Asbrubal Cabrera stepped in but could not cash in as he bounced into an inning ending double play.

The Indians made some defensive substitutions putting Matt Carson in left, Santana moved to first, Gomes behind the plate, and Chris Perez on the mound for the ninth. Matt den Dekker immediately greeted Perez with a line drive single to right and then advanced to second on a sac bunt off the bat of Anthony Recker. Perez managed to strike out Omar Quintanilla for the second out but surrendered a double to Young that plated the go ahead run putting the Mets on top 2-1. After an intentional walk to Murphy, Satin grounded into a force out to end any further damage.

Latroy Hawkins came on in the ninth for the Mets and quickly gave up a single to Giambi –his 2,000th of his career. The Indians then pinch ran Mike Aviles for Giambi but Lonnie Chisenhall failed to advance the runner on a shallow fly to left. With Drew Stubbs at the plate, Aviles tried to steal second but was thrown out on a one-hop throw by Recker. Stubbs then struck out and the Mets held on to win 2-1.

Francisco (1-0) gets the win for the Mets while Perez (5-3) is tagged with the loss.

The Indians (76-66) will get ready for a big series against the Kansas City Royals (75-68) who come to town tomorrow for a big three game series. Tune in tomorrow night as the Tribe will send righty Ubaldo Jimenez (10-9, 3.79 ERA) to the mound against Ervin Santana (8-8, 3.33 ERA) at 7:05 pm.

Photo: David Maxwell/Getty Images