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Indians vs. Orioles recap (Thursday): Indians win another back and forth game of craziness

Masterson on 3-days rest vs. Chen on 6-days rest...

Mitchell Layton

Game 48: Indians 8, Orioles 7

Wei-Yin Chen is a very good, and underrated, starting pitcher. He is also left-handed. The Indians have struggled against lefties this season, so this wasn't quite an optimal matchup.

On top of that, Justin Masterson has struggled this season and was starting on 3-days rest.

Chen gave in first—Ryan Raburn started the scoring with his first home run of the season. The Indians may have scored more than that one run in the second inning if not for the Orioles stellar defense. Defense is another area in this series where the Indians are at a significant disadvantage.

The Raburn homer separated the Indians from the Orioles in home runs this season, 42–41. The two teams had been tied for 8th in the AL with 41.

Masterson got double play balls in both the first and second innings, giving the "weaker sinkerballers on short rest" theory some credibility. Another thing the recently-wild Justin had working in his favor was the Orioles ranking in walks: last.

The Indians made it 2–0 the following inning, as Michael Brantley stayed hot, tripling. Brantley then scored on a wild pitch, scoring another speed-infested run. I don't want to think about where this team would be without Brantley.

Masterson gave up some hard-hit balls in the 4tH and things continued to slowly slip away in the 5th. But then Baltimore hit into a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded, their third GIDP on the day, and lined into the third out.

There was nothing slow about how the 3-0 Tribe lead slipped away in the 6th. The inning should have ended before any runs crossed the plate, but because of that aforementioned shaky Indians defense, Justin Masterson had to get 4 outs. He could not do this before surrendering 5 runs and a bonus walk just for kicks. The way Masterson is pitching right now, it's quite possible he wishes he had taken that lowball Indians contract offer. Like June 25 in Baltimore last year, Masterson lost the shutout (but not the perfect game) quickly and in style.

Masterson never did get out of that inning, so Mark Lowe got to make his Indians debut. Lowe didn't have to do much to get the third out because Yan Gomes' tremendous arm showed one more time that it might be back(, baby).

Luckily for the Tribe, their poor defense was contagious. In fact, it was so infectious that the best AL defense caught it. Or maybe just Ryan Flaherty, who made back to back errors/non-errors that led to 2 runs that tied the game at 5.

But then... hooooooooo boy... the events that even Tom Hamilton, an Indians employee, called "bad high school defense"
"M Machado safe at first on error by shortstop A Cabrera"
"A Jones safe at second on throwing error by third baseman C Santana, M Machado to third" (note: double play ball)

The Orioles made it 6–5 in the above inning. Mark Lowe and Scrabble did a really good job, all things considered.

Lonnie Chisenhall then pinch hit for Raburn and duplicated the home run Raburn hit earlier in the ballgame. This author is not surprised one bit that Lonnie has been our best offensive third baseman. Because of Lonnie's homer, the game went to extra innings and John Axford got to warm up (Yippee!!).

After Chisenhall's hard-hit ball in the top of the 10th became an out, Axford did in fact pitch. And he blew it. Right?


Then Preston Guilmet pitched a scoreless inning too! How lucky are we!? Not lucky at all. Guilmet pitches for Baltimore now.

The Indians finally made some noise in the 13th, loading the bases for Yan Gomes. Gomes hit a weak fly ball, which did not score a run. BUT THEN CARLOS SANTANA DOUBLED! More or less likely than that Axford thing? Not sure, but it scored two runs.

In the bottom of the inning, Scott Atchison gave up a homer to Nick Markakis, but that was all the Orioles would get. And so...

"The Indians become only the 13th MLB team in the last 100 years to win games in 13+ innings on back-to-back days."
by Jason Lukehart on May 22, 2014 | 11:31 PM

It was Atchison's first save since doing so once for Francona's famed Chicken-and-Beer Red Sox.

Box Score

Win-expectancy chart:

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call:

Game Thread

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