Gomes, Holt and Bullpen Overcome Early Deficit; Indians 7, Twins 5
Mike B. | On 19, Aug 2014
As a thunderstorm swept through northeast Ohio, cable and satellite dishes may have made Tuesday night’s Indians’ game even harder to believe.
Because if your satellite cut out after Trevor Bauer allowed five runs in the first inning to Minnesota in the first six hitters, it may have been quite a surprise to find out the Tribe chipped away against Kyle Gibson to come back and win 7-5 to take the first game of the series in Minnesota. After falling behind early, Cleveland used three hits from Yan Gomes and a clutch, pinch-hit double from Tyler Holt to score in four different innings for the comeback win.
Bauer continued his early-inning woes when the Twins tallied a five run inning in the bottom of the first. Danny Santana started the frame with a double to right center field. After Brian Dozier walked, Joe Mauer hit a ground rule double to left field to plate the Twins’ first run of the game and put a pair in scoring position. Kennys Vargas kept the hit parade rolling with a single to right field to make it 2-0, but the big blow came when Oswaldo Arcia crushed a three-run homer to make it 5-0. Arcia’s 13th homer of the season put the exclamation on the five run inning before an out was recorded.
It’s the second straight road start Bauer has allowed five runs in the first inning and the third time in his last four starts that he’s allowed the opponent to score in first.
Cleveland tried to answer the rally in the top of the second inning when Yan Gomes homered to the left field upper deck. The solo shot was Gomes 17th of the season, cutting the deficit to 5-1. Mike Aviles and Michael Brantley strung together back-to-back, two-out singles in the third inning, but Carlos Santana grounded out to first base to strand the runners.
The Tribe scratched ever closer in the top of the fourth inning. This time Jason Kipnis and Gomes started the inning with back-to-back singles. After Lonnie Chisenhall grounded out to move them each to scoring position, Zach Walters stroked a single to right field to plate both runners and make it 5-3, Minnesota.
After the tumultuous first inning, Bauer seemed to find his control. After allowing five runs without recording an out, Bauer set down the next 14 straight in innings one through five. His ability to stymie the Twins’ offense allowed the Tribe to come back.
Cleveland cut the deficit to one in the top of the fifth inning when Michael Bourn started the stanza with a double to left center field. Aviles bunted him to third base and he came scampering home on Gibson’s wild pitch. The wild pitch bounced in front of Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki and nearly caromed over the screen behind home plate. When Bourn touched home, Cleveland trailed just 5-4.
When Bauer walked Brian Dozier with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Indians manager Terry Francona ended his evening and summoned Kyle Crockett. Crockett allowed a single to Mauer before getting Vargas to ground out and end the inning. Bauer survived just four and two-third innings, allowing five runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out four. All of Minnesota’s production against Bauer came in the first six hitters of the game, except for Dozier’s walk that ended his evening.
The comeback was complete in the top of the sixth inning when Cleveland plated three more runs. Gomes singled for his third hit of the game with one out. That ended Gibson’s night in favor of left-hander Brian Duensing. Chisenhall welcomed to Duensing (3-3) to the game with a single to left. After Walters popped out, pinch-hitter Tyler Holt doubled off the right field wall to score a pair and give the Indians the lead, 6-5. Holt was added to the roster just this afternoon when Ryan Raburn was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Bourn followed with a single to plate Holt and give the Indians a 7-5 lead.
Crockett (3-0) got the first out in the sixth when Arcia grounded to first, before giving way to Scott Atchison. Atchison finished the sixth inning before allowing an infield single to Eduardo Escobar to start the seventh. Marc Rzepczynski came on and allowed Eduardo Nunez to reach on his own infield hit before striking out Danny Santana. C.C. Lee got Dozier to pop out to second base before Nick Hagadone came on to get Mauer to ground out and end the threat.
Hagadone stayed on to get the first two outs in the eighth inning before giving way to Bryan Shaw for the final out. Cody Allen worked a scoreless ninth inning for his 16th save of the season and Cleveland stole what looked like an early win for Minnesota. The Tribe used seven relievers behind Bauer to record the final 13 outs of the game. They allowed just four hits in the game after Minnesota’s first five hitters went to the plate.
In addition to Gomes’ three hits, and Holt’s double, the Indians had two hits from Bourn and two runs driven in by Walters. Cleveland banged out 11 hits in the game.
The win improves Cleveland to 63-61 on the season, still 6.5 games in back of Kansas City for the American League Central Division lead and five back of the Seattle Mariners for the final Wild Card spot.
Cleveland will try to take the series on Wednesday and win their second straight game. Southpaw T.J. House (1-3, 4.13) takes the mound for the Indians while Minnesota will counter with Ricky Nolasco (5-8, 5.99).
Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images