Willingham Homer Silences Tribe Comeback; Twins 4, Indians 3
Laurel Wilder | On 21, Jul 2014
They used three center fielders and two shortstops in Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins, but the Indians still fell one run short, dropping the series opener 4-3.
Ryan Raburn, playing left field, had the first hit of the game in the top of the second inning with a one-out single, and Swisher followed with a walk. Roberto Perez hit into an inning-ending double play to keep the score tied at zero heading into the bottom of the second. Minnesota started the bottom of second with their first two batters aboard following singles from Kendrys Morales and Josh Willingham. Kurt Suzuki delivered a double that scored both Morales and Willingham and gave the Twins a 2-0 lead. Chris Colabello then hit what appeared to be a two-run home run, though a second look called the hit foul and kept the score at 2-0. Colabello then struck out to mark the first out of the inning.
Chris Dickerson, who came into the game as a pinch hitter for Asdrubal Cabrera in the third inning, delivered the Indians’ first RBI, sending home Aviles to make it a 2-1 ballgame. Danny Santana doubled in the bottom of the third for the Twins and scored on a double by Trevor Plouffe, who was thrown out at third. The Twins ended the inning with an increased 3-1 lead over the Indians.
Dickerson scored the Indians second run in the top of the fifth on an RBI double from Yan Gomes, cutting the Twins’ lead to 3-2. Carlos Santana’s single sent Gomes to third, though Raburn was flew out to end the inning.
Caleb Thielbar replaced Johnson on the mound for the Twins in the top of the sixth inning and retired the side in order. CC Lee then appeared for the Indians and gave up two singles before he was replaced by Nick Hagadone, who retired the two batters he faced to keep the score 3-2 Minnesota.
Recently-named American League Player of the Week Jason Kipnis singled in the top of the seventh, then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Thielbar. Jared Burton replaced Thielbar to end the inning and struck out Gomes, ending the inning with Kipnis stranded on third.
John Axford appeared in the bottom of the seventh, retiring the side in order to end the inning.
Bryan Shaw gave up a solo home run to Willingham in the bottom of the eighth to give the lead back to Minnesota, 4-3. Glen Perkins pitched a scoreless ninth for Minnesota and earned his 23rd save of the season. Fien was named the winning pitcher, now with a 5-4 record, and Shaw took the loss for Cleveland and fell to 4-2. The Indians are now 50-49 on the season and will play their one hundredth game of the season tomorrow night as Danny Salazar (1-4, 5.53) makes his return to the rotation to face Yohan Pino (1-2, 4.39).
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images