Holt and Ramirez Provide Late Inning Heroics; Indians 3, Astros 2
Danny Madden | On 23, Aug 2014
The Indians have been looking for a spark in their offense to keep them going in the second half of the season, and they’ve found it in the youngsters from Columbus. Tyler Holt led late inning rally who was then bunted over by Roberto Perez and then scored in walk off fashion by Jose Ramirez. This was the Indians’ tenth walk-off of the season.
The Indians are battered and bruised. Prior to the game tonight, the Indians announced that they had to place Yan Gomes on the 7-Day disabled list for mild concussion like symptoms. After starting the game with just 24 men on the roster, they made a deal with the Texas Rangers for former Indians catcher Chris Gimenez for cash considerations. He will join the team tomorrow and act as a backup catcher to Perez. Gomes now joins David Murphy, Jason Giambi, Nick Swisher, and Ryan Raburn on the disabled list. Due to all of these injuries, players like Chris Dickerson and Perez have gotten everyday playing time, and it has proven costly for the Tribe as Dickerson had the team’s 100th error of the season to give the Astros a 2-0 lead in the third.
Danny Salazar was on the mound for the Tribe tonight as he’s been pitching very well since returning to the rotation. In his last six starts, he’s posted an ERA of 3.27 and has compiled 33 strikeouts to only 9 walks. Collin McHugh was on the hill for the Astros.
Both teams traded singles in the first inning, but neither of which ended up scoring. The Indians came back to threaten in the bottom of the second after back-to-back singles two out singles by Lonnie Chisenhall and Dickerson. This threat ended though as Chisenhall was thrown out at third while he was trying to go from first to third on Dickerson’s single.
The Astros got on the board first in the third inning. After Salazar walked Jake Marisnick, he struck out Gregorio Petit and then walked Robbie Grossman. With two men on, the American League batting average leader Jose Altuve laced a single into right field. Dickerson then tried to throw out Marisnick at home, but ended up skipping it past Perez to let Marisnick and Grossman score. Salazar seemed lost during the play as he was not backing up the catcher, which allowed Grossman to score. He then came back to strike out Chris Carter to end the inning which the Astros on top 2-0.
The Indians were able to respond to the Astros two runs in the bottom of the third. After Perez and Michael Bourn both grounded out, Ramirez laced a double to right field. Michael Brantley, who was 0-15 coming into this at bat, hit a line drive to score Ramirez from second. Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis then followed Brantley with a single and walk respectively to load the bases for Zach Walters. Coming into the game, Walters had hit home runs in three consecutive games. Unfortunately, he popped out to the shortstop to end the threat.
Salazar came back in the fourth and started the inning by issuing a walk to Dexter Fowler, but then buckled down to strike out Jason Castro and then follow that with a fly out to Jesus Guzman and a groundout by Marwin Gonzalez.
Chisenhall and Dickerson led off the inning with back-to-back singles for the second time in the bottom of the fourth. Perez then bunted the runners over for Bourn who then hit into a ground out, but was able to drive in Chisenhall for the second run of the game. After four innings, it was all tied up at 2 for the Astros and Indians.
Both McHugh and Salazar traded scoreless fifth innings as they both threw 1-2-3 innings, but McHugh didn’t make it out of the sixth as he was relieved by Kevin Chapman. He came in a took out Chisenhall and Dickerson for the first time in the game. Meanwhile, Salazar went six innings and only gave up one earned run on seven strikeouts and only one walk. Certainly an impressive night for Salazar.
The offense seemed to shut down for both teams as the bullpens both pitched shut out innings through the eight innings. The Indians threatened in the eighth after a walk was issued to Santana. Kipnis then hit a ground ball to Altuve who then overthrew Gonzalez at second when he tried to turn the double play. Santana was able to advance to third while Kipnis sat on first, who then stole second for his nineteenth steal of the year. Walters then hit into a fielder’s choice to put runners on the corners for Mike Aviles who was pinch hitting for Chisenhall. Former Indians pitcher Tony Sipp then came on to relieve Jose Veras to face Aviles and eventually struck him out to end the inning.
After a scoreless top of the ninth by Cody Allen, Jake Buchanan came in to face pinch hitting Holt. The matchup was all for naught though as Holt led off the inning with a single. Perez then bunted him over to second, and then Bourn followed with a four pitch walk. With Ramirez at the plate, Buchanan threw a wild pitch that almost nailed Ramirez to allow the runners to move to second and third. Ramirez then laced a single to left field to score Holt for their tenth walk off of the season.
The Columbus kids have done their job very well thus far. This may be exactly what this team needs to try and stay in contention for the post season. Both Holt and Ramirez have provided a spark that the Indians have been looking for to keep them going.
The Indians will be back tomorrow to try and take the series against the Astros. Trevor Bauer (4-7, 4.41) will be on the mound for the Tribe to face lefty Brett Oberholtzer (4-8, 4.01). The boys of summer will take the field at 1:05 PM at Progressive Field.
Photos: David Maxwell/Getty Images