Indians 2, A's 1
Indians improve to 48-54
Three complete games pitched in a row is a remarkable feat. That we came pretty doggone close to four in a row is amazing. Danny Salazar pitched a gem but ran out of bullets, handing the ball over to Cody Allen for the ninth inning in the Indians 2-1 victory over the Oakland A's.
Salazar started strong, retiring the first six batters he faced and was excellent just about all night. The right-hander leaned on his mid 90's fastballs, but also unleashed plenty of sharp sliders and enough changeups that finished down in the zone to keep the A's off-balance. Salazar's totals over his eight innings of work include allowing just one hit, one base on balls, no earned runs, and four strikeouts.
Salazar's only trouble on the evening came in the third inning, in part due to an odd defensive miscue. Salazar opened the frame by walking Mark Canha and giving up a single to Eric Sogard. Next came shorstop Marcus Seimen, batting ninth for the A's, who hit a relatively routine ground ball to the Tribe's third baseman, Giovanny Urshela. Urshela didn't field it cleanly, but to his credit recovered quickly and fired a bullet over to Carlos Santana at first. Santana, however, wasn't in position (I guess he thought Urshela wouldn't have a play after the bobble) with his feet off the bag. Urshela got stuck with the error (Carlos owes him), Canha scored, and Oakland got on the scoreboard first. Salazar limited the damage by getting the next three batters and ended the inning giving up just that one unearned run.
The Indians bats struggled for much of the night, as A's starter Kendall Graveman just about matched Salazar out for out. Just as was the case for Salazar, Graveman was hurt by an error. A two out single in the seventh by Yan Gomes was followed by a double by Lonnie Chisenhall, giving the Indians two runners in scoring position. Urshela followed with a ground ball to Seimen, who threw wildly to first, allowing Gomes to score and tie the game at one.
More opportunities followed for the Tribe in the eighth and ninth innings. Gomes had a chance to give the Tribe the lead in the eighth, with runners on first and third and two out, but struck out against LGFT Edward Mujica.
Lonnie Chisenhall started the ninth with a single and steal (wow) and was driven in by the suddenly red hot Michael Bourn (double wow), who laced a ground rule double to right-center to put the good guys on top 2-1. Chisenhall finished the evening with three hits and looked very comfortable at the plate.
Everybody's favorite closer Cody Allen came in and pitched a clean ninth to earn his 21st save.
The Indians and A's will do it all again on Saturday, as Cody Anderson looks to rebound for the Tribe and will face newly acquired A's right-hander Aaron Brooks. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 ET.
Win Expectancy Chart
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