A Grand Finale; Indians 5, Blue Jays 4
Thursday night was a grand night for the Cleveland Indians and their fans.
With one out and the bases, the Tribe trailed the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 in the bottom of the ninth. Travis Hafner stepped to the plate and found a pitch to his liking. He hammered it to deep right field, sending the crowd of 18,816 into delirium and home happy.
After struggling to put anything together on offense for eight innings, the Tribe entered the home half of the ninth trailing 4-0. They were looking like sure losers in the first of a four-game series with the Blue Jays.
Right fielder Travis Buck began the frame with a single, followed by a double from Matt LaPorta. Jack Hannahan drew a walk to load the bases. Two batters later, All-Star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera connected on a base hit for the Tribe’s first run and his 50th RBI of the season. Hafner followed with his heroics.
Hafner’s blast saved starting pitcher Zach McAllister from losing his debut. The rookie lasted only four innings, giving up two earned runs, throwing 94 pitches. Though the pitch count was high, he kept the game close enough for the Indians to catch up.
The Indians’ bullpen was again a force, allowing one earned run over the final five innings.
Unfortunately, for the Tribe, the game wasn’t void of some concern. Rookie third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall was hit in the head, batting in the second inning. Initial reports did not indicate a concussion, an injury Chisenhall suffered from earlier in the year at AAA Columbus. A further update on his condition is expected today.
The victory pushed the Indians’ record to 47-39. They maintained their 1.5 – game lead in the Central Division over the Detroit Tigers, who defeated the Kansas City Royals yesterday.
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