Tomlin Shines Against Former Indian Westbrook, Tribe Takes Series Opener; Indians 6, Cardinals 2

By Charles Rosala

Interleague play has returned to the MLB and the Cleveland Indians took on the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals – both had 30 wins coming into tonight’s game. The Indians had great pitching and hitting throughout the entire game to pick up a 6-2 victory.

The Indians were aggressive in their at-bats which made the difference in the game. The Tribe tallied two runs in the first inning to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley had the RBIs.

After two and a half innings of scoreless baseball the Indians increased their lead with an RBI groundout by Casey Kotchman, which made the lead 3-0. The very next inning after getting the first two runners on base, Jason Kipnis hits a single to right field that gave the Indians a 4-0 lead in the fifth inning.

In his first appearance against his former team Jake Westbrook went six innings allowing three earned runs on eight hits, but did strike out seven batters. Of the eight hits he allowed all eight of them came within the first four pitches of the at bat, including one of them to pitching foe Josh Tomlin.

It seemed like the game plan coming into this game was to swing early in the count against Westbrook and the Indians did just that, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Also in this game Brantley increased his league leading hit streak to 16 games. Asdrubal Cabrera extended his own hit streak to 10 games. The only hitter in the starting lineup that was held hitless was Shin-Soo Choo.

The Tribe added to the already huge lead and to what the Indians have done all year, score with two outs. Johnny Damon hit his second career home run as a Cleveland Indian and made the lead 6-0.

After pitching six shutout innings, in the bottom of the seventh the Cardinals finally got on the board with a pinch-hit two RBI single by Matt Adams. Josh Tomlin went seven innings only allowing two earned runs on eight hits, while throwing 76 pitches.

Joe Smith and Nick Hagadone pitched the eighth and ninth innings respectively to close out the game 6-2 and increase the Indians record on the road to 18-9 and to 3-1 on the road trip.

Tomorrow’s matchup sees Justin Masterson (2-5, 5.09 ERA) go up against Kyle Lohse (5-1, 3.21 ERA). The game can be seen on Fox at 7:15.

Photo: Getty Images

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