It wasn't easy, because things are never easy for the Indians, but they held on for a big 3-2 win in their first game of the year against the AL Central's reigning heavy, Detroit. After his first blown save with the Tribe on Sunday, John Axford entered for the bottom of the 9th and after retiring the first hitter, he allowed a double to Alex Avila, who reach third base when Michael Bourn bobbled the ball in center field. Ax got a huge strikeout for the second out, then an easy grounder to end the game.
Speaking of Bourn, this was his first game of the season, after missing the first two weeks due to a straining hamstring. He drew a walk to lead off the game, and came around to score the first run of the night. He went 0 for 4 the rest of the night, striking out twice an hitting a hard line drive in the wrong direction, leading to a double play. Also returning to action this evening was Lonnie Chisenhall, who'd been away for the birth of his second child. He continued his strong start to the year by collecting two more hits, including his fourth double.
The big hit of the night came off the bat of Yan Gomes, who knocked in two runs in the 3rd inning with a triple to deep right-center field, putting the Tribe ahead 3-1. Yan also picked up a single and nailed Austin Jackson at second base on an unwise stolen base attempt.
The big story of the night though was Zach McAllister, who gave up only one run in six innings. He joins Corey Kluber in having made two strong starts in a row (having pitched 7.2 shutout innings while striking out 7 against San Diego last week) and in restoring some of my faith in the rotation as a unit. Old Rough and Ready (a far better moniker than Attach!) lowered his ERA to 2.04 and feels like a sturdy mid-rotation starter right now (all opinions subject to change).
The Tribe's record is back up to .500 now, at 7-7. The weather-shortened series concludes Thursday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:08 ET. Danny Salazar will take the mound for Cleveland, Justin Verlander for Detroit.
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