Tribe improves to 51-49
Terry: Alright, enough screwing around. No more defense for Swisher, no more Aviles in center field, and no more Raburn batting fifth. I mean, don't get me wrong, it was just as hilarious last night as I expected, but I don't want to beat the joke to death.
Clubhouse Attendent: Yeah, that's probably the right call.
If you were watching the STO broadcast with the sound on this evening, then you were made aware of the fact that Carlos Santana was a triple away from hitting for the cycle, and also the fact that the last Indian to do it was Travis Hafner way back in 2003, when Pronk was only just becoming the Big Scary Monster™ we would come to know and love. Once you'd been made aware of those facts, you were made aware of them again and again. At some point I think they cut away from the game and went to a medium shot of Manning and Underwood holding hands and talking about how long it had been, but maybe I just imagined that.
Anyway, Carlos had himself one heck of a ballgame. Santana doubled to lead off the 2nd inning and came around to score the game's first run. In the 3rd he beat the shift by laying down a nice bunt to the left side of the infield (when Colby Lewis finds about about this, there will be hell to pay). In the 5th he smashed his 15th home run of the season, moving him back into a tie (with Michael Brantley) for the team lead. That's when all the cycle talk began, even though Carlos has only one triple in the last season and a half.
It was the 8th inning when he came up again, but this time he struck out, which surely led to some fans crying out, "See, I told you he's no good!" Minnesota's brilliant decision to intentionally walk a man when they were already down three runs in the 9th helped get Santana another AB though. He tattooed the ball to right field, and Justin Masterson and Corey Kluber called for him to turn for third, but Carlos was content to settle for his second double of the night.
Also doing damage for the Tribe tonight were David Murphy, who started the scoring with a two-run single in the 2nd; Nick Swisher, who had 3 hits and scored 2 runs; Yan Gomes, who had 2 hits, including an RBI double, and Chris Dickerson, who hit a two-run single in the 9th.
See what happens when you don't bat Ryan Raburn fifth!
The other big story of the night for the Indians, which would have been the story if Santana hadn't gone bonkers, was the return of Danny Salazar. He walked the bases loaded with one out in the 2nd inning, putting a great big pit in my stomach, but he escaped by striking out the next two guys. At that point I was glad no one had scored, but frustrated that he'd need 30+ pitches to get through an inning, and seemed like he might not get through more than 4 innings. He kind of settled in though, not walking anyone after that. He allowed a bunch of singles, maybe half of which were hit with much authority, but he got through the next three innings on only 37 pitches, and ended the night having gone 5 innings, and allowing only 1 run on 6 hits, with 6 strikeouts.
It wasn't brilliant, and Minnesota isn't the toughest test, but I think he did well enough that he should stay up for another start while Justin Masterson finishes up his rehab assignment.
The series concludes Wednesday afternoon. Trevor Bauer will be put in charge of trying to get the Tribe a series win.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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