I know. The headline sounds like it is backwards. It isn’t.
Justin Masterson allowed plenty of baserunners early, but kept them away from scoring with timely strikeouts and a few decent defensive efforts. Two of those were excellent diving plays by Mark Reynolds at first. In the fourth inning he saved at least a pair of runs with a diving stab of a line drive. Reynolds also had a heads-up play in the ninth to double off Eric Hosmer at third.
Michael Brantley broke up a no-hitter and a shut-out with a solo homer in the fifth, but the sixth inning was when the Tribe broke through against starter Luis Mendoza.
After a Stubbs single and a Bourn walk, Mike Aviles drove a ball just over Left Fielder Alex Gordon’s glove and off the wall. Stubbs was able to score on the play, but Michael Bourn had to wait and see if Gordon caught it or not. It didn’t matter after Kipnis laid down the perfect bunt loading the bases for Carlos Santana.
Santana worked a walk scoring Bourn. Brantley then hit a sacrifice fly to left field. Aviles scored on a kind of gutsy play. Gordon has a good arm, but the Indians tested him and it paid off as his throw wasn’t exactly a laser. Mark Reynolds singled and then Raburn struck out and Chisenhall grounded out to first.
All totaled the Indians scored 3 in the inning to take a 4-2 lead.
Masterson came back out for the seventh, after having sat in the dugout for quite some time while the Indians hit in the sixth. After a walk and a ground out to second Masterson was lifted for Bryan Shaw. Justin’s final line- 6.1 innings pitched, 9 hits, 2 ER, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts. He would earn the win to push his season record to 9-5 with a 3.48 ERA.
Bryan Shaw gave the Indians 1.2 innings of solid relief. He was followed by Joe Smith in the ninth. Smith gave up a pair of hits and a run.
Aviles would sacrifice home Michael Bourn in the 7th inning after a Bourn double and steal of third making it a 5-2 game. Brantley added a line drive homer in the 8th bringing the tally to 6-2.
Carlos Santana saw his 10 game hit streak snapped, though he did get an RBI with a bases loaded walk. Michael Brantley’s 2 home runs were his first since May 19th. He came into the game with 2 on the season. It was also the first multi-homer game of his big league career.
The Indians were 3 for 6 with runners in scoring position. They have been very efficient scoring runs the past two games, with 10 runs scored on just 13 base hits. Sac flies and bases loaded walks will help with that.
The Indians are off today with the Minnesota Twins coming to town for a three game series. The Tribe has won their last three series.
Lonnie Chisenhall has not had a hit since coming back from Triple A. He is 0-7. Hopefully he gets going before the pressure starts to weigh on him.