August 19, 2013
With Corey Kluber out for another several weeks, Scott Kazmir running out of gas, and the Tribe offense sputtering, the rest of the Cleveland rotation has needed to step up. And for the most part, they have. Zach McAllister backed up his fine outing in Minnesota with another one last night, going 6.1 innings and allowing just five hits and two walks.
Meanwhile the Tribe offense, which has been among the worst in base this month, peeped its head out of the hole it had been hiding in. On Saturday night several of the slumping veterans had nice games, and this time it was a slumping youngster's turn to shine. Lonnie Chisenhall went 2-for-3 and hit a key two-run homer in the fourth to top off a four-run inning. Prior to that breakout frame, Jared Weaver had stymied the Indians much as he's had his entire career. But in their second at-bat, the Cleveland hitters seemed to figure out. Jason Kipnis, who has been the one constant in the lineup, started things off with a walk, stole his 23rd base, then came home when Carlos Santana singled. After Michael Brantley popped out, Asdrubal Cabrera continued his small hot streak by doubling down the right field line (Santana went to third). After Jason Giambi hit what's seemed like his 35th sacrifice fly of the season, Chisenhall capped the inning with his first extra-base hit in August.
After that the game's dynamics didn't change a whole lot. McAllister was removed after giving up a one-out walk in the seventh, and Bryan Shaw came in to finish off the seventh. Joe Smith pitched a scoreless eighth, Nick Swisher added an insurance run in the ninth, and Chris Perez finished the game despite giving up a Mark Trumbo home run.
The win didn't gain the Indians a lot of ground, but they did gain a game on the Orioles, who lost 4-3 to Tampa Bay earlier in the evening. Many of the Wild Card competitors will be playing each other over the next couple weeks, so even though the Indians are 4.5 games behind the A's and 5 games behind the Rays, they'll have an opportunity to make up ground. But they have to keep winning, especially over the next five games.
Roll Call (26 Commenters)
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