The last time the Indians were above .500 was after the first series of the season. Since then there's been some difficult baseball, but over the last week, this team has been rolling on all cylinders. Today's game wasn't as impressive as others have been, but it was impressive nonetheless.
- If you consider Scott Kazmir this team's fifth starter, then the Indians beat the Twins' best starter (Kevin Correia) with their worst on the mound. Kazmir is still feeling his way back to how he was pitching late in the spring, but today you saw signs that he's just about there. He struggled early in the game with command, but got into a rhythm in the middle innings, and at times approached dominance. Scott finished six innings, striking out 7 Twins, and allowing just two runs.
- Kazmir didn't need to be perfect, because the offense jumped on Correia early and kept the pressure on. Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher (who played for the first time since Monday) each hit solo homers in the first inning, and added two more in a very long bottom of the second. Correia was hurt by his defense (a run scored when Pedro Florimon lost a popup in the Cleveland squishy sky), but the Indians hitters made him work for every out, and would have broken it wide open had Nick Swisher's bases-loaded liner not been right at right fielder Chris Parmelee. Correia would only be able to go five innings.
- Before the game we learned that Vinnie Pestano was not available last night because of a "sore elbow." That obviously changed how Francona managed last night, and it changed how he managed today. With a 4-2 lead in the seventh, Bryan Shaw came in to pitch instead of Joe Smith. Shaw allowed a walk and a single, but no runs to score. Smith then pitched the eighth, and really struggled with his command. He fell behind 3-1 to Justin Morneau with two on and nobody out, but thankfully BABIP was on his side; Morneau hit a sinking liner that Drew Stubbs caught at his knees, Asdrubal Cabrera made a fine play to nab Josh Willingham (just barely) at second, and after a run-scoring single, Smith got Chris Parmelee to fly out to Stubbs in center.
- Jason Kipnis continued to bring himself out of his brutal early-season slump, missing hitting for the cycle by a double. Drew Stubbs continued to contribute at the plate, hitting an opposite-field double that just missed going over the fence in the eighth to set up an insurance run.
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