Tribe’s Big Fifth Inning Rally Falls Short in Comeback Bid; Twins 10, Indians 6
Bob Toth | On 02, Aug 2016
For the second straight day, a Cleveland starter was shelled and hurt by the long ball, putting the team in far too big of a hole to climb out of as the Minnesota Twins defeated the Indians by a 10-6 final on Tuesday night.
The Twins rode a pair of big innings to jump out to a massive lead against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco. The Indians rallied with an impressive fifth inning to make it a ball game, but were unable to push across any more runs despite opportunities throughout the final few innings.
Carrasco was pitching a fairly routine game through the first two innings, but the big blasts got him twice in the third to give the Twins a sizeable edge. Danny Santana doubled to left to start the inning and scored on a Brian Dozier homer, his 20th of the season. Joe Mauer followed with a double to right and the Twins got their fourth straight extra base hit as Monday’s villain, Max Kepler, deposited his fourth two-run homer of the series into the seats in right to quickly make it a 4-0 game.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson worked around two singles in the first and kept the Indians in check in the second and third while his teammates tacked on more support in the fourth. Jorge Polanco doubled with one out and moved to third on a single by Santana. A groundout by Dozier drove in Polanco with the fifth run and a double from Mauer made it a six-run edge as Santana scored with ease. Kepler was intentionally walked and Miguel Sano made the Indians pay for the decision with a two-out, two-run double to make it 8-0 and to send Carrasco to other business for the evening.
The Indians bullpen took over and began a span of four and one-thirds innings of easy work on the mound. The Indians, meanwhile, finally woke up in the fifth. Coming into the inning with a walk and three singles to their credit in the game, they put on their hitting shoes as Abraham Almonte doubled with one out. After Roberto Perez moved the runner to third on a groundout to second for the second out, Carlos Santana put the Indians on the board with a two-run blast to right. Jason Kipnis singled, stole second, and scored on a single to left by Francisco Lindor. Three pitches later, Mike Napoli clobbered a two-run blast to the top rows of the bleachers in one of the more memorable and majestic blasts in recent years. Jose Ramirez followed with a single and scored on a double to right by Lonnie Chisenhall, ending Gibson’s day one out short of earning a decision in what was once a lopsided affair.
That would be as close as the Indians would get. They put two on with one out in the sixth, but Lindor flied out to the warning track in right-center and Napoli popped up to shallow right to end the threat. Tyler Naquin singled with two outs in the seventh but was left at first. Santana singled with one down in the eighth, but was erased on a fielder’s choice at second to end that inning.
What little hope remained was eliminated in the ninth, when Austin Adams relieved Cody Allen, walked Kepler to start the inning, and two outs later gave up the dagger two-run homer to Eduardo Escobar to extend the Twins’ lead to 10-6. In a non-save situation in the bottom half, Minnesota closer Brandon Kintzler set the side down in order to end it.
The puzzling conundrum that is the Minnesota Twins (42-64) continued to haunt the Cleveland Indians (60-44), who fell to 4-7 against the bottom team in the American League Central. The Indians’ lead in the division is now just three games over the second place Detroit Tigers.
“I don’t know what they do against everyone else,” said Indians manager Terry Francona after the game, “but they’ve played us pretty darn well.”
CARRASCO CAN’T ESCAPE FOURTH
Carrasco (7-5, 3.12 ERA) easily had his worst start of the season and had it at a bad time, one day after a short outing from a Tribe starter to begin the divisional matchup and four-game series. He allowed a season-high eight runs on the night and matched his shortest outing of the year (with the exception of the game that he left injured in Detroit). In three and two-thirds innings, he gave up nine hits, walked a pair, allowed two home runs, and struck out only one Twins batter.
Tuesday’s start was the 100th of his career.
GIBSON CAN’T GET THE EASY W
Gibson left the win on the table despite being given an eight-run cushion after the Twins’ scoring outbursts in the third and fourth innings. He lasted two outs into the fifth and gave up six runs on ten hits. He walked one batter and struck out two and, like Carrasco, was hurt by two home run balls.
Ryan Pressly (6-5, 3.58), who pitched one and one-third innings of one-hit relief, was credited with the win in the contest.
KEPLER DOES IT AGAIN
Kepler continued to torture Tribe pitching, despite their reluctance to pitch to him most of the night. His two-run homer in the third capped a four-run inning and would be the only time he got a hit in the ball game as he was walked three other times. He drove home two and scored three on the night.
DOZIER STREAKING IN SECOND HALF
Dozier extended his hitting streak to eleven straight games with his homer in the third inning. He has hits in 15 of the 18 games since the All-Star break.
NAPOLI ON A HOME RUN TEAR
With his mammoth shot to the upper reaches of the left field bleachers on Tuesday, Napoli extended his consecutive games streak with a home run to four straight games.
LINDOR LEADING THE LEAGUE
Lindor was 3-for-5 at the plate, one of two Indians with three hits on the night (joined by Santana). It was the 18th three-hit game of the season for the Indians’ All-Star shortstop, most in the Majors.
TROUBLE WITH THE RUNS
The Indians have struggled to score first during this homestand, which had been a recipe to success for the club this season. They have managed to do so just once in the first seven games of this stretch at home.
The Indians have dropped two games this series despite scoring a combined eleven runs off of Twins pitching. All eleven runs have scored with two outs.
They left nine men on base on Tuesday and were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position on the night.
SALAZAR TO THE DL
The Indians announced Tuesday afternoon that starting pitcher Danny Salazar had been placed on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. The news was coming off of the shortest start of Salazar’s season, where he was unable to retire a batter in the third inning before handing the ball over to the bullpen with a substantial deficit.
New Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer was added to the 25-man roster in Salazar’s place.
The Indians will look to get back on the winning path on Wednesday night when they host the Twins in game three of the four-game set. Trevor Bauer (7-4, 3.64) will look to end the Indians’ losing skid, while Tyler Duffey (5-8, 6.12) will look to keep the Twins’ winning ways going.
First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM ET.
Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images