Indians improve to 63-66
Abraham Almonte was the star of the show as the Tribe smashed their second grand slam in two days. Honest Abe's blast-off in the 5th put the Tribe ahead 6-0 and it was pretty much plain sailing from there on out. Josh Tomlin was again most impressive, going 7 IP at the cost of just two runs.
The Tribe got off and running in the very 1st inning. Jason Kipnis again set the table by leading off with his 36th double of the year, and he was then bunted over to 3rd (yuck!) by Francisco Lindor. Just to demonstrate that the bunt was a complete waste of an out, Michael Brantley then got Kip home with a double down the right field line. Things then took a bizarre turn when Trout lost a flyball in the sun, which allowed Brantley to score with Santana reaching third on the throw home, although the Tribe ultimately had to settle for a 2-0 lead.
Having been hampered by a fielding miscue in the 1st, Jered Weaver got himself into trouble in the 2nd, when, after walking Perez and Aviles, he hit Lindor with a pitch. But on this occasion he escaped when Brantley flew out to RF. At this point the Angels' starter was already at 49 pitches, but he got through the 3rd and 4th for the cost of just an Almonte leadoff bunt single.
The 5th began in reasonably standard fashion with a lineout by Lindor and another Brantley single. Remarkably, however, Santana then doubled for the second time when Colhoun, like Trout before him, lost the ball in the sun. Chisenhall was then intentionally walked, and the stage was set with bases loaded for Giovanny Urshela, still with one out. Urshela couldn't get the job done, but Almonte stepped up and punished the Angels for their fielding SNAFU with a massive blast to RF for the Tribe's second grand slam in less than 24 hours. (Apparently, this was the first time this had happened since 9/17/2010, when Shin-Soo Choo and Matt LaPorta did the damage.)
The Tribe launched another threat in the 6th when a two-out double by Lindor was followed by an intentional walk of Brantley, and then a wild pitch advanced the both runners. Carlos Santana then drove in two runs (without the aid of the sun this time!) with his third hit of the game and the lead was now 8-1.
Even Mike Aviles got in on the act a little in the 8th when he recorded the Tribe's 10th hit, marking the 12th home game in a row that the Tribe had recorded double-digit hits, their longest streak since 1936. He would eventually score after a botched fielder's choice turned a potential double play into a runners on the corners situation, with Lindor then recording the RBI.
Following his homer on the first pitch of the game yesterday, Kyle Calhoun again started well with a leadoff single, but, in a sign of the sloppiness to come, he was promptly picked off by Josh Tomlin and Carlos Santana. Tomlin immediately gave up a triple to Mike Trout, but struck out Albert Pujols and eventually escaped unscathed.
The Tribe's No.5 starter then settled down to cruise through the next four innings while relinquishing just one hit, a 4th-inning leadoff single by Mike Trout, while striking out five more. The 6th wasn't so smooth, however, as Grant Green led off with a homer and Trout doubled for his third hit of the day (a HR shy of the cycle) before Tomlin knuckled down to retire the next two and then strike out two more in a 1-2-3 7th. Tomlin was eventually removed after allowing a leadoff single in the 8th, but a final line of 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO was one that any pitcher would be very proud of.
Zach McAllister was again rather shaky in relief, giving up two singles including an RBI by Trout before recovering with a pair of groundouts. Austin Adams was then brought in to mop up in the 9th and did a decent job after allowing a single to leadoff the inning.
After a superb five-game home stand, the Tribe now heads off on a tough nine-game road trip that begins in Toronto tomorrow and then takes in the Tigers and White Sox.
Win Expectancy Chart
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