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Game One Hundred Twenty-Six: Indians 3, Tigers 1 (10 Innings)

Box Score
Win Probability Added @ Fangraphs

Highest WPA:

Jake Westbrook .575
Kenny Lofton .308
Victor Martinez .123

Lowest WPA:

Franklin Gutierrez -.321
Casey Blake -.245
Jason Michaels -.107

Given what was at stake, the 10th inning of yesterday's game was the most important inning of the season. Lose, and the Tigers are down just a half-game. Win, and the Indians are up 2.5 games with only three head-to-head matches left.

Jake Westbrook, considering his recent history against Detroit, pitched a great game. The two Rafaels pitched through a crucial ninth inning, paving the way for the Indians to take the lead the next inning.

After Victor Martinez hit a leadoff double, Eric Wedge went for broke, pinch-running for Victor and also for Ryan Garko later in the inning. He probably figured that whoever was left in the bullpen (including Joe Borowski) wasn't going to keep the Tigers at bay long enough for those spots to come back around if the game went on. After Franklin Gutierrez struck out with runners at the corners and one out, that strategy seemed to backfire. But Kenny Lofton singled home the first run of the game, and Chris Gomez singled home two more runs immediately afterwards.

Joe Borowski needed those two extra insurance runs in the bottom of the inning, as the Tigers plated one and had runners on second and third with two outs. Joe finally induced Ivan Rodriguez to pop out to right to end the game, but I'd have to imagine the past couple of adventures should make the coaching staff and front office at least think of going with someone else in that role, or possibly substituting someone for Borowski if he's tired (he saved Wednesday night's game).

Whatever the case, the Indians have a bit of breathing room, and an opportunity to grow their lead over the weekend.

Next Up: On to Kansas City. Sabathia vs. Greinke, 8:10 PM