Tribe improves to 80-74
Yan Gomes may finally have found his chance to win Indians Player of the Week for the first time all season (just kidding, Carlos Carrasco is going to take that honor this week), leading the Indians to a 7-3 win by collecting three hits, including an RBI single in the 3rd and a three-run home run in the 5th, which broke the game wide open. That home run was Gomes' 20th of the season, and he joins Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley in reaching that mark, making this the first time since 2008 that the Tribe have had a trio of 20-HR hitters. (Which trio accomplished it in 2008? ...No peaking.)
Tonight was the first time since the first game of last Thursday's double header that the Indians have scored more than four runs, and for right now I'm going to choose to forget that momentum in baseball doesn't really exist, and tell myself tonight's outburst is going to jumpstart a strong finish for the offense.
Michael Brantley picked up a pair of hits, giving him 190 on the season, which is the most by anyone on the team since 2006, when Grady Sizemore finished with that same total. Dr. Smooth is now on pace for 199 hits, and his quest to become the first Indian since Kenny Lofton in 1996 to reach 200 in a season is very much alive.
Carlos Santana didn't have any hits but he did draw his 106th walk of the season, putting him into a tie for 9th place on the single-season franchise leader board. He's on pace for 112 of them, which would put him in 6th place. (Jim Thome holds all of the top five totals.)
T.J. House started the game, but he was not as sharp as he'd been in recent outings. He'd made three consecutive appearances with 7+ innings, 0 walks, and no more than 1 run allowed, but tonight he walked a man in the 2nd inning and allowed his second run of the night in the 3rd. He did seem to settle in after a leadoff double that inning though, getting six straight groundouts to finish off the 3rd and 4th innings, and then striking out the side in the 5th. He gave up back-to-back singles to begin the 6th though, and was replaced by Zach McAllister.
McAllister was great, striking out all three batters he faced that inning, then whiffing the first batter in the 7th, before allowing an infield single. The inning ended on a strike-home-out, throw-home-out double play, giving The Attach (formerly Old Rough and Ready) 5 Ks in two innings of shutout relief work.
Nick Hagadone gave up a home run in the 8th, but he, C.C. Lee, and Marc Rzepczynski managed to close out the game, giving the Indians their 80th win of the season, and pushing their American League record total of relief appearances to 551.
Elsewhere around the American League, the Royals, Mariners, and Athletics all lost, and the Indians are only 3.5 games behind Kansas City for the second Wild Card spot. Factor in the 4-2 lead the Indians will carry into the continuation of their suspended game from a couple weeks back, and it's sort of like they're only 2.5 back.
The light is dim, but it is not out.
Win Expectancy Chart:
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