Indians 1, Twins 4
Indians fall to 54-62
It was déjà vu all over again as the Tribe were behind 2-1 in the 8th and then gave up two runs to destroy any really chance of a last-ditch rally. Yet another fine pitching performance was wasted, as all Carlos Carrasco's efforts were undone by a "misplay" in the field by Francisco Lindor and some insipid offense. The return of Michael Brantley (on Monday?) and Jason Kipnis (on Tuesday?) can't come soon enough.
The game began in rather bizarre fashion, when with one out Lindor reached after 1B Trevor Plouffe horribly misplayed an easy popup. With Gomes up, Lindor then went for a steal, had the base stolen but went to the right of the bag and overslid. The Tribe quickly accepted the out decision, but I (and others on the Game Thread) weren't convinced that Lindor was ever actually tagged while he was off the bag. He managed to slide his leg around very quickly, while the fielder was seemingly still grasping at thin air.
The Tribe did get in the board in the 2nd with some classic Tito smallball (and I don't mean "classic" in any positive sense). After Ryan Raburn's leadoff double down the LF line, Giovanny Urshela bunted him over and Abraham Almonte got him home on the sac fly. Jerry Sands then made the first of his hits on a 2-2 afternoon, but that was it offensively for a while.
After Carrasco had cruised through the 1st inning, he ran into trouble in the 2nd, when with one on and two out, the Twins made three consecutive "hits". I say "hits" because, although it was scored as a double, Lindor missed a sharp, but not especially difficult chance to end the 2nd inning with a groundout, which Kurt Suzuki then punished with a line drive two-run RBI single to make it 2-1 Twins.
Having played for one run in the 2nd, the Tribe offense lost momentum with a tame 1-2-3 in the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th. They did show signs of life in the 5th when Jerry Sands really hustled to stretch a single into an unlikely double, followed by walks from Aviles and Lindor. However, Yan Gomes swung at a curveball outside the zone on a 3-2 count, and the Tribe had left the bases loaded for the umpteenth time this season.
Meanwhile, Carrasco was doing his level best to keep his teammates in the game, albeit not without one or two scares. In the 3rd he walked Joe Mauer and then conceded a two-out single to Trevor Plouffe, but managed to induce a groundout with runners on the corners. Carrasco then came back strongly with a 1-2-3 in both the 4th and 5th, each of which finished with back-to-back swinging strikeouts (his 4th thru 7th Ks of the day). He did have to extricate himself from another runners on the corners situation (after a walk and single) in the 6th and also gave up a walk in the 7th, but overall it was yet another terrrific outing from the Tribe's No.2.
With Carrasco having departed, the last real offensive opportunity went begging in the 8th, when Ryan Raburn struck out swinging after back-to-back two-out singles by Gomes and Carlos Santana. Lonnie Chisenhall (who had earlier come in for Sands) did single off Greg Holland in the 9th, but Mike Aviles then provided more catching practice to end the game.
For the second night in a row, the Twins had managed to add a pair of 8th inning insurance runs. Yesterday it was Bryan Shaw, while today Zach McCallister left one in the middle of the plate for Trevor Plouffe to smack over Aviles in LF. After Eddie Rosario tripled, Eduardo Nunez then bunted him home in a fine squeeze play that led to McAllister's removal from the game (for Ryan Webb) having recorded just one out.
The Tribe's 11-day road trip now moves on to Boston and then New York (for a rematch with the Yankees). At least offensive reinforcements should be on the way.
Win Expectancy Chart
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