By Mike Brandyberry
If the Indians win their last 22 remaining games, they’ll finish one game better than they did last season.
While the hope of an improvement from last year has been lost for several weeks now, yesterday’s ninth inning defeat to the Minnesota Twins left the team just one game ahead of the Twinkies for last place. Avoiding the basement, and salvaging a split in the four game series, becomes today’s immediate goal. Unfortunately, avoiding last place is the only goal left for the final four weeks of the season.
Aeros Win Game Five, Advance to Eastern League Final; Aeros 5, Baysox 2
By Ronnie Tellalian
The Akron Aeros battle back, down 0-2 in the best of five Eastern League Western Division series to score a stunning victory over the Wild Card winning Bowie Baysox. Akron came out guns blazin’ to start the game, and never looked back, as they take the series finale 5-2.
Starting the day for the Akron Aeros was the rehabbing Carlos Carrasco. The former Indian threw his rehab inning, and gave way to Akron’s RHP Brett Brach (5-7, 3.65). Branch pitched masterfully, giving up only two runs in his six and two thirds innings of work.
“Brett [Branch] went out there and shut them down for six innings,” Aeros manager Chris Tremie said of his winning pitcher “he really threw the ball great today.”
By Dave Roberts
The Indians were looking to guarantee at least a split series in this four game set against the Twins on a Sunday afternoon. The Tribe sent righty Corey Kluber to the mound against Esmerling Vasquez what followed was an excited game of continual offensive retaliation. Unfortunately, the Indians ended on the short end 8-7.
Tribe starters have had trouble recently going deep in games but thankfully with an eleven-man pen thanks to September call-ups they have not had to worry about running out of arms. This time around, Corey Kluber wasn’t able to break the trend. He breezed through the first two innings relatively easily and had an early 4-0 lead but then ran into trouble in the third inning. Jamey Carroll collected a single with one out, then Joe Mauer lined a ball to right field for a triple, and then set the stage for Justin Morneau who hit a two-run bomb to right field to make it 4-3 Tribe.
Akron Wins Battle of Sacrifices to Force Decisive Game Five; Aeros 2, Baysox 1.
By Ron Tellalian
Game four between the Akron Aeros and the Bowie Baysox turned out to be a clinic in small ball tactics. That strategy did not prove productive however, as only three runs scored while 18 men were left on base between the two clubs. When the dust settled, the Aeros came out on top, and tied the series up at two apiece with a nail biting 2-1 victory.
Taking the hill for the home team Akron Aeros was 27-year old, Japanese born, Toru Murata (3-1, 2.60). Murata’s last start came against Richmond on August 31 where he got the win throwing six shutout innings. He would look to duplicate that performance against Baysox LHP Jake Petit (11-3, 3.86). Despite dropping to the 42nd round before finally being drafted by the Orioles, Petit has shown success at every minor league level, boasting a 3.41 ERA in three professional seasons.
By Mike Brandyberry
Saturday evening the Cole De Vries and the Minnesota Twins bullpen held the Indians’ offense silent, allowing only four hits and shutting out the Tribe 3-0. It was another game in a long season of offensive inconsistency and struggles.
Cleveland still has a chance to win the four game series at Target Field. The Indians won their first series since July earlier on this road trip in Detroit. The Tribe isn’t just trying to win the series, but trying to keep the Twinkies off their heels for last place in the American League Central Division. Both teams are battling through the final month of the season with a strong dose of Triple-A youth injected into the lineup.
By Bob Toth
Cleveland Indians’ fans have been calling for Russ Canzler to be promoted from Columbus almost all season long, hoping that the right-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder would be able to alleviate some of the offensive deficiencies of the club. As the days and weeks passed and the production from both first base and left field underwhelmed at the plate, Canzler slugged away in Triple-A, awaiting his opportunity.
It may not have happened when some fans wanted, but Canzler’s time to shine is now.
Canzler is expected to see plenty of action for the Indians. It will be the first real test at the major league level for the 26-year-old. It is believed he will split his time between designated hitter, left field, and first base during this audition.
By Evan Matsumoto
Saturday night’s game was similar to Friday night’s contest in one way: Cleveland’s starting pitcher only lasted three innings.
Minnesota evened the series at 1-1 as they beat the Tribe 3-0. Cleveland dropped to 59-80 on the season, 17.0 games behind the Chicago White Sox.
The first inning promised more than it delivered. Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff single and was followed by Jason Kipnis, who walked. With men on first and second, Asdrubal Cabrera struck out looking before Carlos Santana short-hopped into a double play to end the inning.
By Mike Brandyberry
Friday evening the Indians survived a sour start by Jeanmar Gomez to come back and take the lead. The offense was spurred by Russ Canzler and his first Major League home run and the bullpen was able to hang on, giving the Tribe a 7-6 victory. Canzler was 3 for 4, with a three RBIs to go with his homer.
The win was the Indians’ third victory in four games on the current road trip. After losing 21 of their last 24 road games, it appears the Tribe is starting to regain their stride on the road. “I think it takes a bit of a toll, so many days on the road,” Indians Manager Manny Acta said. “If you’re going to be on the road for that long, it’s not as beneficial at times. But we can’t control that. I think everybody’s doing it so you have to deal with it. I think everybody has kind of the same schedule. So just deal with it.”
By Ronnie Tellalian
Excellent pitching was the order of the day as the Akron Aeros faced elimination in game three of the Eastern League Western Division series, but poor defense made all the difference. Thanks to two costly errors by the Baysox, the Aeros stay alive with a 4-3 win.
The pitchers did their jobs today as the staffs of both teams combined to allow only 10 hits and rack up 17 total strikeouts. Taking the mound for the Akron Aeros was 22-year old Danny Salazar (4-0, 1.85). Salazar started the year in Carolina, where he pitched to the tune of a 2.68 ERA in 16 starts. The Aeros this year are 5-1 when Danny takes the mound. Countering, the Baysox trotted out 2012 1st round draft pick Kevin Gausman (0-1, 3.60 A- and A+). Another of the bright young arms in the Orioles organization, Gausman dominated colleget ball last year at LSU with a record of 12-2.
By Bob Toth
Significant contributions from two September callups, designated hitter Russ Canzler and pitcher David Huff, helped Cleveland overcome an early four-run deficit to claim game one from the Minnesota Twins by a final of 7-6.
The Twins struck for first blood in the bottom of the second against Indians’ starting pitcher, Jeanmar Gomez. Back-to-back walks to the dangerous Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau gave the Twins free base runners. A fielder’s choice groundout by Ryan Doumit forced Morneau at second, but moved Willingham to third. Chris Parmelee lifted the first pitch of his at bat into medium left field, deep enough to drive Willingham home from third on the sacrifice fly for the game’s first run.
Minnesota tacked on more the very next inning. Pedro Florimon singled to center with the first pitch of the inning. Ben Revere followed with a single to left center. A sacrifice bunt by Eduardo Escobar moved both runners up. Joe Mauer was intentionally walked to create a double play situation, but Willingham sent a 2-2 pitch the opposite way into the right field corner to score Florimon and Revere, making it a 3-0 game.
By Mike Brandyberry
The Indians lost Wednesday evening to the Detroit Tigers 7-1 when Ubaldo Jimenez pitched well, but ran out of gas and Cody Allen allowed the Tigers to pull away. The Tribe had their first chance at a sweep since June, but were unable to cash in. Yesterday the team enjoyed an off day while travelling to Minnesota for this weekend’s series.
The last time Cleveland entered Target Field they were three and one-half games in back of first place and in the thick of the division and Wild Card races before they suffered a three-game sweep at the hands of the Twins. Target Field is as much of the scene of the crime to the Indians second half free fall as anywhere. After being swept by the Twins in late July the team made no moves at the trade deadline and began moving toward youth instead of competing in the race.